Bengaluru, Mar 21: A noted plastic and reconstructive surgeon allegedly committed suicide by jumping from the terrace of his 12-floor apartment in southeast Bengaluru on Monday afternoon.
Dr Ashok Raj Koul (55), chief of plastic and microvascular services at Sparsh Hospital in Bommasandra, is survived by wife Dr Asha Koul, an anaesthetist at Hosmat hospital here, and two daughters. The elder daughter is studying medicine in the US, and the younger is a class 10 student in a private school.
According to their neighbours in Sobha Daffodil apartment at Somasundarapalya, HSR Layout Sector VII, Dr Koul returned home from the hospital around 12.45pm in his silver Toyota Etios. "He seemed to be in panic. In fact, he banged the car door as he got out. He did not go to his flat on the fifth floor. He took the elevator straight to the terrace and leapt to his death," a police officer said quoting neighbours.
Dr Koul was a native of Jammu and Kashmir and residing in Bengaluru since many years. He was staying in the Shobha Daffodils apartment at Somasundara Palya.
Bandepalya police said Koul stayed in a flat located on the 5th floor of the apartment complex along with his wife Asha Kiran, who is also a doctor and his 16-year-old daughter, who is studying in the 10th standard. His elder daughter has been studying in the US since two years.
“Koul returned to his apartment from the hospital at around 12.30 pm, but did not go to his flat. He directly went to 10th floor of the complex and jumped to death. The security guards who heard the sound rushed to the spot to found him dead in a pool of blood. They informed the police about the incident,” a police officer said.
The reason behind his extreme step is yet to be identified. A case of unnatural death has been registered at Bandepalya police station.
Police questioned his wife to find out whether he was under depression or if there were disputes within the family. She reportedly told police that there was no problem within the family.
“He has not left any suicide note. He was reputed in the field of plastic surgery, and was known as one of the best in India. We will find out what is the reason behind his suicide,” a senior police officer said.
The body has been shifted to the mortuary of St John’s Hospital for autopsy. The final rites will be done after his elder daughter arrives in the city, according to Koul’s wife.
His death came as a shock to his colleagues. According to Sharan Shivraj Patil, Chairman and Chief of Orthopaedic Services, Sparsh Hospitals, Dr. Koul was one of the star surgeons in the hospital, and one of the celebrated plastic and re-constructive surgeons in India.
After obtaining his MS in General Surgery and MCh in plastic surgery from Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, he did a year’s fellowship in Microvascular Surgery in Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), Hyderabad.
Dr. Koul was also known for advanced surgeries, like reconstruction of breast and Brachia Plexus injuries. Prior to his stint at Sparsh Hospital, he headed the Department of Plastic, Cosmetic, Microvascular and Hand Surgery at Medical Trust Hospital, Cochin.