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Mar 24, 2013 at 11:26am IST

ATS officer shoots himself at a restaurant in front of family

Mumbai: In a freak incident, a police officer in the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) shot himself dead at a restaurant in Thane on Saturday evening. The officer had gone to the Goa Portuguese Hotel with his family where he shot himself dead around 4.00 pm. The reason for his suicide is not clear.

Sanjay Banerjee (45), a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), taking the extreme step is being ascertained and police suspect that he was facing some domestic issues in recent months.

Banerjee, who had joined police force as Deputy Superintendent of Police through Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC), is survived by his wife and two sons. He was in civil dress and went to the hotel in a private vehicle, police said, adding the DCP was chatting with his wife and children when he suddenly pulled out his revolver and turned it on himself, firing a few rounds, even as his wife and sons watched in horror.

ATS officer shoots himself in front of family

The DCP was chatting with his wife and children when he suddenly pulled out his revolver and turned it on himself.

The incident occurred around 4 pm, they said, adding the hotel staff alerted the police after they saw Banerjee slumping on the ground. Banerjee was then taken to Thane civil hospital, where he was declared dead. Police said Banerjee had not left any suicide note. Though police are yet to ascertain the cause behind the incident, according to some accounts he had a fight with his wife.

However, police did not confirm this. Banerjee, posted with ATS since June 2012, was mainly involved at monitoring, recording and analysing mobile phone conversation of those put under the scanner by the anti-terrorism agency, police said.

He had worked in various places at Nanded, Thane and Mumbai before shifted to ATS. Banerjee's body was shifted to JJ Hospital for postmortem, police said. Meanwhile, senior police officers from Thane and Mumbai, including Thane Police Commissioner KP Raghuvanshi, who had once headed the ATS, and present ATS chief Rakesh Maria rushed to the civil hospital after the incident. Banerjee was the son of IG (retd) AK Banerjee. Kapurbawdi Police have registered a case and carrying out investigations.

(With Additional Inputs From PTI)