Prem Vallabh, 53-year-old assistant commissioner of police, allegedly committed suicide by jumping off the 10th floor of the Delhi Police headquarters at ITO in New Delhi today.
Vallabh was posted in the crime and traffic unit of the Delhi Police. The ACP’s body was found on the porch of the headquarters, near its entrance. On rushing him to a nearby hospital, he was declared dead on arrival. The reason for suicide has not been clear yet, however, the police has launched an investigation probing whether this was a suicide or a possible accident.
Hailing from Uttarakhand’s Almora district, Vallabh resided in Delhi’s Maujpur along with his family of wife and three sons. He was also awarded a Police Medal for his service couple of years ago in 2016. He was also contemplating a voluntary retirement from service (VRS) some years ago, but was persuaded in continuing with his service. According to his acquaintances, he had been suffering from mental health problems from almost eight years.
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The depression and mental health problems seem to be growing in men, but often we do not discuss these as seriously as we do for women.
Earlier in May, senior Maharashtra police officer Himanshu Roy, had committed suicide by shooting himself at his home in Mumbai. Roy, who was a tough cop involved in many high-profile investigations, was depressed as he was suffering from cancer since a long time.
In the same month, Rajesh Sahani, a 1992 batch UP Provincial Police Service officer, shot himself dead with a service pistol inside his room at Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) headquarters in Gomtinagar in Lucknow. Sahani was looking after the case related to a Pithoragarh resident Ramesh Singh Kanyal, who was arrested for helping the ISI to bug the house of an Indian diplomat in Islamabad, Pakistan, where he worked as a cook between 2015 and 2017.
According to an Indian Express report, between 2012 and 2017, Delhi lost 43 police personnel due to suicides.
Various reasons have been cited for these suicides – they could be related to lack of family support, misunderstandings at home, harassment by seniors, extreme work pressure, no fixed duty timings, lack of leaves etc.
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It is high time that Depression is seen as a serious health problem and not just a mental disorder. Government and other NGOs must come forward in addressing such issues systematically, so that people who suffer for this menace can be spoken to, treated on time and saved from taking their lives abruptly.
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