Remembering Roy, the man, the policeman

 Bhavana Roy (right), wife of late Additional Director General of Police , Himanshu Roy, accepting condolences at a prayer meeting in Mumbai on Friday.

Bhavana Roy (right), wife of late Additional Director General of Police , Himanshu Roy, accepting condolences at a prayer meeting in Mumbai on Friday.

Mumbai: Hundreds of people turned up to pay respects to Additional Director General of Police Himanshu Roy at a prayer meeting held in his memory on Friday.

Roy, who had been battling cancer for over two years, committed suicide in his south Mumbai residence on May 11.

In attendance at the prayer meeting, organised at Prerana Hall near Azad Maidan, were Roy’s wife Bhavana, brothers-in-law Amish and Anish Tripathi, sister Nehal Vyas, members of his close and extended family, and police officers, both retired and serving.

“It says something about Himanshu da that we address him as da (elder brother) despite not being related to him by blood. We were not the family he was born into, but the family he married into, and yet he made us his own,” Amish said.

Divya Mehta, Roy’s cousin, recounted how happy she was when her ‘baby brother’ was born on June 23, 1962 at the Purandare Hospital in Mumbai.

“We had a strong bond despite being 15 years apart. His favourite trip with me used to be to the Santacruz airport. He loved watching the planes take off and land. He was very fond of animals, and had rabbits as a child and then a dog,” Ms. Mehta said.

Anish spoke about Roy’s ability to take tough decisions when the situation demanded. “There are some who say he committed suicide. We believe he lived life on his own terms, and chose his death as well. It is very easy for a bystander to ask a soldier to soldier on. Only the soldier knows what he is going through. Back when he was posted in Nashik, he once came upon an accident while on his way home from work. A woman’s forearm was trapped under the wreckage and she was bleeding out. Himanshu da cut off her forearm from the elbow downwards and took her to the hospital. She not only survived but would also send him a rakhi every year,” he said.

Additional Director General of Police Vivek Phansalkar, currently posted with the Anti Corruption Bureau, spoke on behalf of what Amish referred to as “the family that Roy lived for: the Maharashta Police force”. Roy was a batch senior to Mr. Phansalkar, and both policemen met and interacted frequently over the course of their respective careers. They served together in Mumbai, Roy as Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), and Mr. Phansalkar as Jt CP (Traffic). Later Mr. Phansalkar took over as head of the Anti Terrorism Squad from Roy.

“Mr. Roy was so meticulous in his work that he had prepared detailed notes about all the cases with the ATS to ease my transition. Normally, the process of taking charge lasts for an hour, where the two concerned officers sign a document and exchange pleasantries over tea. My hand over process lasted for around four hours, and Roy told me I was welcome to contact him in case I needed more help,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 28, 2022 12:17:09 pm |