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Mumbai banker jumps to death - RBI employee leaps off 8th-floor office

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OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT   |   Mumbai   |   Published 01.10.08, 12:00 AM

Mumbai, Oct. 1: A senior Reserve Bank of India official allegedly jumped to his death from his Bandra Kurla Complex office this afternoon, some 10 minutes after normally chatting and laughing with his colleagues.

Sushad Kumar Patnaik, 53, left everyone stunned when he sneaked out through an eighth-floor emergency exit around 1.30pm and leapt to his death, police said. His colleagues said he appeared a happy family man.

A suicide note saying “Nobody is responsible for my death” was later found in Patnaik’s pocket.

“Initially, there was confusion on whether he jumped to his death or fell accidentally. Later, we found a suicide note in his pocket,” said R. Perreira, a senior inspector of Bandra Kurla police station.

Although police are not suspecting foul play, they are as baffled as Patnaik’s family — they are from Orissa — and his colleagues at Mumbai’s poshest corporate address.

“We are investigating the case. His body has been sent for post-mortem to Sion Hospital,” Perreira said.

Patnaik, a deputy general manager with RBI’s inspections department, had been transferred to the BKC office on August 21 but proceeded on leave soon after with a ligament injury in his leg.

“He had joined back on Monday. His colleagues say nothing seemed amiss with him,” a police officer said.

The RBI has, however, declined comment on the death till the post-mortem report arrives. An official said Patnaik had worked at the bank’s central office in the Fort area before his transfer.

“S.K. Patnaik, DGM, inspection department, RBI, died today after falling off from our office in BKC. The police are looking into the matter,” RBI PRO Alpana Killawala said in a statement.

Patnaik lived in the RBI officers’ colony in Goregaon East with wife Rita, 44, and sons Aditya, 22, and Anshuman, 14. The police will take the family’s statement once the post-mortem report is out.

At RBI’s Bhubaneswar office, no one could give any details about Patnaik.

“We got calls from our colleagues in Mumbai saying an Oriya man named Sushad Patnaik had committed suicide,” said B.N. Tripathy, a deputy general manager at the Bhubaneswar branch.

He said no one seemed to know Patnaik as he had never worked in Orissa. “He has been working outside the state from the beginning. All his contemporaries are outside. We do not even know if he has a home here,” Tripathy said.

“There are a lot many Oriya people in Mumbai and they have been calling us. We are really shocked to know something like this. It’s very unfortunate.”

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