Actor Asif Basra, a familiar face in several films and television shows, including 'Jab We Met', 'Kai Po Che!' and 'Paatal Lok', was found hanging in a private residential complex here on Thursday, police said. He was 53.
He was staying in Himachal Pradesh for the past five years and running a cafe-cum-restaurant at McLeodganj.
The police have found him hanging at his rented house.
Superintendent of police Vimut Ranjan along with a team of forensic experts has already visited the spot and collected evidence.
“The police have started the investigations. We will examine the issue in detail. No suicide note so far has been found by the police,” Ranjan said.
The premises where he committed suicide have been thoroughly searched and statements of his foreign friend also recorded, besides collecting forensic evidence.
“Preliminary investigations revealed that this was yet another case of depression. The state police have already done quite a detailed predictive analysis on increased cases of depression, mostly happening during the coronavirus-induced lockdown,” said director-general of police Sanjay Kundu.
Locals in the neighborhood said Basra was seen earlier in the day taking a stroll with his pet dog.
The police claimed that he used the dog chain to hang himself.
His most recent outing was in Amazon Prime Video's smash-hit series "Paatal Lok".
Last month, former CBI director and ex-governor of Manipur and Nagaland Ashwani Kumar had also committed suicide at his residence in Shimla.
There have been around 288 suicides in Himachal Pradesh during the past 11 months.
“The number is alarming. We have flagged the issue to the state government to do something concrete steps to prevent suicides, mostly it’s an issue of mental health that the state government must address,” he told Outlook.
Basra had performed in Anurag Kashyap's Black Friday and Rahul Dholakia's Parzania, which received much critical appreciation.
The news of the sudden death of the character actor, which comes months after Bollywood star Sushant Singh Rajput was found hanging at his residence in Mumbai on June 14, led to shock in the industry with several of his colleagues expressing their grief.
“What? This is too shocking!! Shot with him just before Lockdown!!! Oh My God!!!" tweeted actor Manoj Bajpayee.
Director Hansal Mehta was equally stunned. “Asif Basra! Can't be true... This is just very, very sad.”
Among the others who condoled his death were directors Onir and Rahul Dholakia.
"In shock. Can't believe that we have lost him. #asifbasra Used to meet him so often at the park jogging. He would tell me not to jog sideways, I might lose balance and hurt myself," Onir tweeted.
Dholakia, who directed Basra in the National Award winner "Parzania" and in the Sanjay Dutt-starrer 'Lamhaa', said Basra was a "wonderful actor and a jovial fellow".
"I mean why would he?? Very Sad - had directed him in Parzania (Chagan), in Lamhaa ( the Darzee ) and also in society... Very sad to hear about his passing !! #asifbasra Hope you are at peace," he added.
Casting director Mukesh Chhabra tweeted, "This can’t be true Asif Bhai, we have done so much work together from 'Kai Po Che' to 'Hostages 2'. I can not believe this! Whatttt is happening??????????? #asifbasra".
(With agency inputs)