Mumbai: Decorated Maharashtra IPS officer Himanshu Roy, who handled a number of high-profile cases including those related to the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks and IPL spot-fixing, would leave a deep impact on people with his dramatic moustache, rippling muscles, and a rich baritone, before cancer took its toll.
The over six-feet tall officer was very particular about fitness and would attend Bollywood and social events regularly. He was a teetotaller and had a penchant for Hindustani classical music. The 1988-batch Indian Police Service officer, who had been on leave since 2016, was undergoing treatment for cancer. He would have been 55 next month.
The officer became the youngest SP of Nasik (rural) in 1995. Thereafter, he took charge as SP, Ahmednagar; DCP Economic Offences Wing, DCP Traffic, DCP Zone 1, and Commissioner of Police, Nasinted Joint Commissioner of Police Mumbai in 2009 and is credited with setting up Mumbai’s first Cyber Crime Cell, the women’s cell, and taking anti-dacoity measures in rural Maharashtra.
He had a number of crucial cases to his credit, including those related to the murders of journalist J Dey and Bollywood actor Laila Khan, the Kohinoor Mill rape case and the Goregaon diamond heist. He was also part of the team which pursued leads related to American-born Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist David Headley, who was involved in carrying out a recce mission ahead of the 26/11 terror strike.
Roy, who was joint commissioner of police (Crime) from 2012-2014, is credited with leading the investigation into the IPL betting scandal. He was then transferred to the state ATS. During his tenure as the agency’s chief, software engineer Anees Ansari was arrested for allegedly planning to blow up the American school at the BKC.
SoBo gym regulars fondly remember him
Despite ill health, Himanshu Roy was a regular at the plush Qi gym, in Eros building at Churchgate. Some regulars recall their interactions with Roy, who they saw progressively deteriorate in his mental make up, quite unlike the physically fit person he was.
NCP state president, Jayant Patil, a regular at the gym, said just a day prior to shooting himself, Roy had expressed his anguish with his cancer treatment. “He told me on Thursday that there are limitations to chemotherapy. It saddens me to say, I cannot believe my meeting with him would be the last one,” said Patil.
Patil confirmed he looked sad and described the ailments of the illness and side effects of the treatment. “His face had darkened and he shared that the doctors had informed him of the progress in his condition, but they refused to give him any guarantee,” said Patil. He added, “He expressed his frustration, but at no time did I think he would take such a drastic step.”
The city’s top criminal lawyer, Rajendra Shirodkar, a body builder and regular at Qi, would speak nearly on a daily basis with Roy. “We exchanged notes on health, steroids and what programmes to follow. He was a fitness freak and a nice person,” he told Free Press Journal.