Patna, Aug. 11: The purported suicide note of 2012-batch IAS officer Mukesh Kumar Pandey, whose body was found on the railway tracks near Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh last night, apologised for his drastic step.
Ghaziabad senior superintendent of police (SSP) H.N. Singh said the note, which was recovered from Pandey's pocket, said he was committing suicide.
"Another suicide note (in a diary) had been found in room number 742 of Leela Palace," the SSP told The Telegraph over phone today.
"Prima facie it appears to be a case of suicide. Pandey had informed his friends and relatives about his suicide on WhatsApp. His cell phone has been seized. The call records of the phone are being analysed," Singh said.
Quoting from Pandey's suicide note, the Ghaziabad SSP said: "I am committing suicide in district centre area of Janakpuri in West Delhi - by jumping off the 10th floor of the building. I am fed up with life and my belief in human existence has gone. My detailed suicide note is kept in a Nike bag in room 742 of Leela Palace in Delhi. I am sorry, I love you all! Please forgive me."
Pandey, 29, a resident of Saran district's Dariapur Sajha village, had assumed charge as district magistrate of Buxar on August 4 this year. Yesterday, he left Buxar for Patna to see an ailing relative but went to Delhi where he checked into the Leela Palace hotel (room number 742).
Before leaving for Delhi, Pandey had handed over the charge to his subordinate and deputy collector Taukri Akram. An employee of Buxar circuit house said: "Saheb had left his room around 4am on Thursday. He was staying in the circuit house after assuming charge as district magistrate."
Pandey's bodyguard Manav Shankar said he had dropped "DM saheb" at Patna airport from where he went to Delhi. He had promised to return to Buxar from Delhi in two days.
"I don't know what prompted him to commit suicide," Shankar said.
A pall of gloom hung over Pandey's residence at Ananda Nagar in Guwahati where his parents reside.
Pandey is survived by his wife and a two-month-old daughter who live in Patna. He was married about two years ago.
He studied at Faculty Higher Secondary School in north Guwahati up to class X and then did his higher secondary from Maria's Public School at Birkuchi here. He did his BA (Honours) in English from Cotton College.
He had secured the 14th rank in the UPSC civil services exam. He was the son of Dr Sudeshwar Pandey and homemaker Geeta. His elder brother Rakesh lives abroad.
His uncle Anil Pandey said Mukesh's father had distributed sweets after the couple's daughter was born.
"Our world has collapsed like house of cards," Anil said.
The suicide comes barely a week after he took charge as the top official of Buxar district.
Mukesh's uncle Biraj told The Telegraph today that they have demanded a CBI inquiry into his death as "it could be murder. He had such a bright career ahead of him and there was no apparent reason for him to take his own life. We are still in shock and disbelief and suspect foul play."
Mukesh's grandmother Kaushalya Kuer was equally shocked. "I still have memories of his wedding at a star hotel in Patna. He was married to a girl from a good family from Patna. But everything is lost now," she said.
Residents remembered they had celebrated when Mukesh had cracked one of the country's toughest examinations in 2012.
"We had celebrated the occasion as Diwali. Sweets were distributed among the residents," said Mukesh's childhood friend, Anand Pandey.
He had promised that he would come back to his ancestral village only after becoming an IAS officer. "He kept his promise," Anand recalled.
His colleagues and friends described him as courteous. Prior to his posting in Buxar, he had served as deputy development commissioner of Katihar and sub-divisional officer in Begusarai.
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has expressed shock and grief over Pandey's death. In his condolence message, Nitish, who was in New Delhi when the incident occurred, said: "Mukesh Kumar Pandey's death is a very heart-rending incident. He was an efficient administrator and a sensitive officer. May his soul rest in peace."
Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal also condoled the demise.
He said, "In his tragic demise, the country lost an upright, capable and efficient officer who could have contributed so much to the country's development."
Sonowal prayed for the eternal peace of the departed soul.
The body will be flown by an Indigo flight in the wee hours tomorrow from New Delhi to Guwahati where his last rites will be performed. The state government has made the arrangements.
WITH ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY OUR STAFF REPORTER IN GUWAHATI