UP: Surendra Das cremated, friends grieve their “commando’s” death
Indian Police Services officers from the 2014 batch gathered at the Baikunth Dham in Lucknow on Monday to attend the cremation ceremony of their ‘commando’, Surendra Das, 30.
The IPS officer, last posted as superintendent of police (east) of Kanpur, died on Sunday after consuming pesticide in an alleged suicide bid on Wednesday.
Remembering Das as a jovial person, Dinesh Gupta, his batchmate posted in Nagaland at present, said, “We gave him that name because of how he handled difficult tasks assigned during our training. He always had a positive attitude towards problem-solving, which motivated all of us.”
Around a dozen batchmates of Das from across the country were present during the cremation.
“Everyone in our batch loved his nature. It is difficult to accept the news of his death -- that too in this manner,” said Prabhat Kumar, another 2014 batch officer who was Das’ ‘buddy’ during their training days.
UP director general of police (DGP) OP Singh, additional director general (ADG) Rajeev Krishna, other senior officials from the police fraternity, and Das’ friends and relatives were also present to pay homage to the departed soul.
The deceased officer was given a guard of honour before the DGP and other officials carried his bier to the cremation ground. His elder brother, Narendra Das, lit the pyre and performed the last rites.
“We have lost a very bright officer of our force. The police department is with the family in this difficult time,” said the DGP.
Das was admitted to a private hospital after allegedly attempting suicide by ingesting a lethal amount of celphos --an agricultural pesticide -- at his official residence. His wife Raveena Yadav was with him when he took the extreme step.
A visibly shocked Raveena was also present at the cremation ground with other women of the family.
Although Das did not accuse anyone in the letter he left behind, his family has blamed Raveena for abetting his suicide. A doctor by profession, Raveena married Das in April 2017. The couple reportedly had a troubled relationship. However, Das’ father-in-law Ramendra Singh has refuted the claims of differences between the couple. “They loved each other and were very happy together,” he told media persons after the cremation.
Before joining the police services, Das worked at a public sector enterprise after completing his graduation from IIT Kharagpur. The youngest of seven siblings born to an Armyman, Das completed his basic education from his home town, Ballia.
Relatives, especially youngsters, from Das’ home town said they greatly admired him. “He was a role model for everyone. He always motivated us to do better in life,” said Dinesh Kumar, a 23-year-old from Ballia who attended the cremation.
Others remembered the officer as a large-hearted man who loved poking fun at friends and was a fine swimmer, accustomed to swimming in river Ganga.
BJP leaders from Ballia, Jagdambika Pal and Upendra Tiwari, also attended the cremation.