NEW DELHI: Buxar district magistrate Mukesh Pandey landed in Delhi in an Indigo flight on August 10 noon and checked into the Leela Palace in Chanakyapuri. Nearly 10 hours later, he was found dead on the railway tracks in Ghaziabad.
Within that period, six Delhi Police teams frantically looked for him, alerted by calls from his family and friends that he would commit suicide.They found a suicide note at his room (No. 742) at the Leela, missed him by a whisker at a mall in Janakpuri, and were able to pick up his trail from CCTV cameras that showed him walking into Janakpuri (West) Metro station. Police tracked him all the way to Anand Vihar on the Ghaziabad border but the trail ran cold after that.
At 9.40pm, GRP constable Mahesh Chand found the 32year-old IAS officer’s body lying by the tracks.
Pandey had taken leave, saying he needed to be in Patna to attend to his uncle who, he claimed, had a heart attack. But from Patna he flew to Delhi.
Police were first alerted around 4.30pm on Thursday when Pandey called his sister-in-law -who is based in south Delhi -to tell her he would kill himself. She informed Sarojini Nagar police station, which dispatched a team to the Leela. Pandey had made the call just as he sat in an Ola cab and headed for Janakpuri. While one police team searched his room for clues, another followed his phone location. “We launched a manhunt but he kept changing locations. By the time we located him, he was in West Delhi,” said DCP (south) Ishwar Singh.
Police said Pandey left behind two suicide notes. “I am committing suicide in district centre area of Janakpuri … by jumping off the 10th floor of the building,” he wrote. I am fed up with life and my belief in human existence has gone. I am sorry , I love you all! Please forgive me,” read the suicide note found in his hotel room. Police did not reveal all the contents of the note but said it pointed to Pandey being depressed as a result of marital discord. The other note was found on his body .
From the cab, Pandey also called a Delhi-based friend, who informed a senior police official (being an IAS officer, Pandey had several friends and batchmates in the capital’s administrative circles and police). Another police team, dispatched by the DCP (west), joined the pursuit in Janakpuri.
Pandey had by then reached West End mall and climbed to the 11th floor. Police believe he wanted to commit suicide here but walked away, possibly because he had spotted policemen who had reached the mall too and were making their way up on the escalator. “We found his mobile phone on the railing of one of the balconies, from where he had possibly tried to jump,” said DCP (west) Vijay Kumar. Pandey probably dropped the phone in the rush to exit the mall.