Dharam Singh Uppal, the suspended Nawanshahr superintendent of police (SP), died of cardiac arrest at his house in Jalandhar on Tuesday.
The 53-year-old SP was suspended for intimidating the witnesses in the Lovely Professional University (LPU) African student assault case, in which his son Ramneek was named as an accused.
He was under stress after Ramneek was arrested for his alleged involvement in the case. He was the Nawanshahr SP before being suspended on October 19, 2012.
His friends in the police say the suspension order had increased his stress.
Burundi national Yannick Nihangaza, 23, a first-year student of BSc computer science at LPU, was assaulted outside his house here on the night of April 21 when he was on his way to a birthday party.
The police had registered a case against nine people, including Ramneek.
Uppal was a former international athlete. He participated in 800m and 1500m race and won several medals for the country.
Uppal was also awarded with the President Gallantry Police Medal for his achievements.
Remembering his friend, SP (H) Lakhwinder Pal Singh Khaira said he was sad to hear about Uppal's sudden demise.
Uppal is survived by wife, a daughter and a son.