Depressed over his failing health, a 74-year-old air force veteran allegedly shot himself dead with his licensed gun at his house in Sector 69, Mohali, on Saturday.
The deceased was identified as Karnail Singh, 74. He lived with his wife, Harpal Kaur, a retired government teacher, and a daughter-in-law, in a rented first-floor accommodation.
Police said Karnail’s children Ranvir Singh, Sukhbir Singh and Jaspreet Kaur were married and settled abroad. While Ranvir and Jaspreet live in Australia, Sukhbir is in Canada. Karnail had retired from the Indian Air Force about 20 years ago, and had later superannuated as a manager from Eicher Tractor factory in Mohali.
Could not talk, hear
“Karnail was depressed due to his ailments. He had met with an accident in 2010 that affected his hearing and speaking ability. Over the last three years, he had completely lost his voice and hearing, and communicated by writing. With age, his memory was also getting poor,” said Rajiv Kumar, station house officer (SHO), Phase 8 police station.
On Saturday noon, he asked his wife and daughter-in-law to get him his eye drops. So they left to buy some and also to visit the army canteen in Phase 10 for some household items.
Once alone, Karnail took out his .12-bore single-barrel gun, and fired two shots at himself by pulling the trigger using a cloth. One of the shots hit him in the chest, police said.
On returning home, his wife spotted him with a gunshot wound in the chest and sounded her landlord and police.
Investigators said though no suicide note was recovered, a note with “Main gun maut” written on it was found.
The family’s landlord, Pawan Kumar, told the police that the family had been living on the first floor of his house for seven years. “Karnail had told me a few weeks ago, “dimaag wi chala gaya, awaaz wi chali gayi, hun main wi chale jana (I have lost my mind and voice, I will also leave soon). I had assumed he was talking about going abroad to one of his sons,” Kumar said.
The body was sent to the civil hospital in Phase 6, Mohali, where an autopsy will be conducted on Sunday.
The SHO said, “We have impounded the weapon and initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code.”