The home of former deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Sanjay Banerjee at Hiranandani Estate, Thane, was shrouded in gloom on Sunday, with his family unable to come to terms with the suicide, which they say there is no explanation for.
"There was no problem at home. He was not having any professional issues either. He had got the posting he wanted in the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS)," said his father Anil, a retired Inspector General of Police (IGP). Sanjay, 43, had been transferred from the Nashik Police Training Institute to the ATS about eight months ago.
"I don't understand how it happened. He was a brave man and was happy with his job. ATS chief Rakesh Maria was like an elder brother to my son," Anil added. "My grandson told me about the incident when I was in Pune."
Visibly-shaken, Anil also said his son did not pull the trigger on account of not having received his salary for eight-nine months. "This cannot be the reason."
Other members of Sanjay's family referred to him as a "fighter". "He had a fighting spirit and it is unbelievable that he killed himself. When we heard of a shooting, the first thought that crossed our minds was that he had probably killed a terrorist in an encounter," said his mother-in-law who did not wish to be named. "My daughter is in a state of shock. She took some medicines after some convincing. We are concerned about Ashutosh's [their 6-year-old son] forthcoming exams."
Visitors thronged the flat at Omkar building in which the Banerjee family lived. A stream of mourners, including several high-ranking police officers and their relatives came to offer condolences to his family through the morning. His elder son, a 14-year-old, had recently come home from his Panchgani boarding school, stood poised, occasionally attending to the guests.