Four or five days ago, an agitated Nandlal Sonawane threw away his mobile phone, after a relatively lengthy conversation – unusual for him.
This surprised his fellow commandos at the Force 1 complex at Kalina police headquarters, as they had rarely seen him lose his temper.
But what they dismissed as a one-off incident may have led to the events of Friday morning, when the young commando shot himself in the chest in the residential quarters at. Colleagues woke up to find their most decorated commando in a pool of blood, with nothing to explain what prompted his actions.
But sources said that some colleagues claimed to have found three text messages on his cell phone, all indications of what was to come on Friday.
Sources said, the first message was for his parents in which he said he wished to be with them for the next “seven births”. The second message was for his sister and brother-in-law, saying they should love and take care of his friends “so that you will be able to forget me.” The third was for his colleagues, in which he says, “forgive me. Practice well, you will get success.”
But the most striking of the contents of these messages, sources said, were the following lines, ostensibly for his fiancé, who he was to marry next month.. “You all lied. I know, we will not make a good couple…”
Seniors and colleagues described Nandlal as a committed soldier, an extraordinary athlete and a pride of the force.
On January 13, Nandlal won the “Cheetah of India” medal after he was adjudged the best athlete in a competition of 22 commando units drawn from police and paramilitary forces from all over India at Jodhpur. He received the medal from the chief minister of Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot, said SP, Force 1, Datta Shinde.
Nandlal also stood first in two events organised by the Force 1 in Mumbai on Wednesday and Thursday.
“He was the pride of our force,” said Shinde.