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Former CBI director Ashwani Kumar dies by suicide: Cops

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Kohima, Oct 07: Ashwani Kumar, former CBI director and Governor of Nagaland died by suicide on Wednesday. The body of Kumar, a 1973-batch IPS officer, was found hanging at his residence in Shimla Wednesday evening, officials said.

Ashwani Kumar

Kumar was presently Vice Chancellor of a private university in Shimla. Police officials investigating the incident said a suicide note, written in English has been found. In the note, the deceased has reportedly written that "had become overwhelmed by this life and had set out on his next journey".

The 69-year-old, survived by his wife and son, is remembered by his former colleagues and even the present officers as a perfect soft-spoken gentleman who always wore a graceful smile.

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Kumar, a 1973-batch IPS officer, was a surprise announcement for the post of the Director CBI in August 2008 when two other names, of those senior to him, were doing the rounds for the prestigious posting. This was the time when the agency was grappling with controversies surrounding the infamous Aarushi murder case of Noida.

"I like Tom and Jerry cartoon show. Police is like the cat while the criminals are like mice. So Tom never leaves Jerry," Kumar had said in an interview to PTI in 2008 after taking over as the CBI Director.

"I am in the game of Tom and Jerry and I have to do my job," he had said.

Kumar had expressed his displeasure over the probe into the Aarushi murder case and had taken upon himself to take it to a logical conclusion. "This case is a litmus test for me. I need to know who killed Aarushi -- parents or someone else. I feel agitated within over this case," he had commented.

During his tenure, a closure report had been prepared which later formed the basis of arrest and conviction of Aarushi's parents. Both the parents are now out on bail and the case is being heard in higher courts.

Kumar, a recipient of the President's Police medal for meritorious and distinguished services, had served as joint director (north) and additional director (anti-corruption) in the CBI. Besides, he had a stint in the Special Protection Group.

"A man of integrity and honesty who was always smiling in tiring conditions. I am shocked," recalls former CBI Director P C Sharma. Kumar served under him as the joint director (policy), a post within the CBI which is a bridge between the government and the agency.

During his stint as the CBI Director, Kumar laid a special focus on the growing economic offences and roped in the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to help the agency in probing white collar crimes.

Hailing from the small town of Nahan in Himachal Pradesh, Kumar after becoming the Director General of Police of his home state had ordered removal of all barriers and check posts which used to cause long traffic jams in the state.

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    In 2013, the then UPA government appointed him as Governor of Nagaland, a post from which he tendered his resignation after the BJP-led NDA government came to power in 2014. He was the first CBI Director to have been appointed to the post of Governor as he was considered close to the then power corridors.

    An avid lover of devotional music and ghazals, Kumar had taken on to academics and was teaching for sometime at the O P Jindal University in Haryana.

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