Nov. 28: Anandita Das, a Calcutta girl and an Indian Air Force officer, was found hanging from a ceiling fan at 3am today by her husband in Rajasthan.
Victor Nair, a squadron leader like his 29-year-old wife, reported the death to senior officers at the Jodhpur Air Force Station who informed police.
Investigating officer Sugam Singh said the police got to know about the incident around 4am and no suicide note was found. The police are suspecting suicide.
“The officer said he found his wife hanging from the ceiling fan in her bedroom.Things will only be clear after the report of post-mortem and interrogation of her husband,” a police officer said.
Anandita was an air traffic controller (or fighter controller) and her husband flew the Sukhoi 30Mki combat aircraft. The couple moved to Jodhpur from Bareilly in September. Jodhpur is a frontline air force station.
The couple married in 2008, two years after Anandita was commissioned into service. There were indications of a domestic tiff, according to a source. But both husband and wife were said to have had good professional records that reflect psychological stability.
The air force has ordered a court of inquiry and asked personnel of the Jodhpur air base to co-operate with the police, defence spokesperson Colonel S.D. Goswami said.
“Police investigation is on and we will extend full co-operation to the police investigation,” Goswami said.
The police said the body has been shifted to Mahatma Gandhi Hospital. The post-mortem will be conducted after her family reach Jodhpur tomorrow. Anandita’s parents live in Tollygunge.
Sources said the couple used to quarrel often and appeared to have fought last night as well. They retired to different rooms. Victor learnt of the suicide quite late, the sources said.
Anandita was outgoing and friendly, which perhaps annoyed her husband.
Only yesterday, defence minister A.K. Antony told Parliament that there were 81 suicides reported of army soldiers so far this year. The military attributes the number of suicides to a number of reasons, including domestic unhappiness. It does not readily accept the charge that the working environment is too stressful.
In the air force, especially in the demanding jobs of a combat pilot and a fighter controller, officers are put through psychological tests periodically. The tasks require a high level of concentration.
Last year in September, a dismissed flying officer of the Indian Air Force, Anjali Gupta, 35, had committed suicide in Bhopal. A court martial in 2005 had found Anjali guilty on five counts, including indiscipline, insubordination and financial irregularities and had recommended that she be cashiered — dishonourably discharged — from service.