The Telegraph
Saturday , March 22 , 2014
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Back-to-back suicides put police in a fix

Access to illegal firearms and people using them to commit suicide have baffled police after two such cases came to the fore recently.

Last Sunday, the decomposing body of a middle-aged man was found in a house under the jurisdiction of SK Puri police station. Police said the deceased, identified as Gynendra Kumar alias Sonu, was a partner in a job consultancy and had shot himself with a countrymade pistol.

Although his brother, Mritunjay Kumar, suspected foul play and lodged an FIR, the police said the door to Sonu’s room was locked from the inside and the pistol was found in the room.

Later, on Wednesday, pharmaceutical businessman Satyaveer Dubey (40) committed suicide by shooting himself in the head with an illegally obtained 9mm pistol.

While officers are tight-lipped about a possible connection between the two cases, they have been forced to think hard about the tendency of using illegal firearms to commit suicide.

A police officer told The Telegraph: “The first case came to light on March 16 when the decomposing body of middle-aged Gynendra Kumar was found from a house in Montessori Gali. While the matter was being investigated, on March 19, pharmaceutical businessman Satyaveer Dubey committed suicide at Dariyapur Gali in Pirbahore police station area. He shot himself in the head with a 9mm pistol.

“The police are confused because cases of people shooting themselves dead are very rare in Patna. As the cases came up in quick succession, they raise doubts. In both cases, the guns were found to be illegal, which is more suspicious,” the officer added.

The officer also said: “Investigation is on in both the cases. The police, till now, have only come across suicide cases in which the victims generally hang themselves. This is something new and shocking.”

If Sonu’s decomposed body was found, Dubey had returned home from work around 8pm and asked for food. As his wife of almost three years went to fetch it, he took out the gun and shot himself. The couple had a one-and-a-half-year-old child.

In both cases, the families were not aware the deceased had firearms in their possession.

Arun Kumar, a city-based psychologist, said: “These days, people deal with a lot of stress at work and home and often cannot handle it. In such cases, depression sets in, leading to suicidal tendencies. Family members need to help the person identify the reasons and should advocate counselling.”

Another police officer said: “The men could have been under a lot of stress. Although we do not think there is any connection between the cases, the angle is being probed. It is important to know how did the men get the guns, why they shot themselves and if they had some other use of the firearms. Illegal weapons are costly and not easy to obtain. While a country-made single shot pistol can cost anything between Rs 3,000 and Rs 5,000, a 9mm pistol costs anything above Rs 20,000.”