Konica Layak was an Indian rifle shooter who was a qualified national level player. On 16 December 2021, she committed suicide in her hostel in Kolkata.
Konica Layak was born in 1994 (age 26 years; at the time of death) in Anugrah Nagar, Dhanbad, Jharkhand. She did her schooling at Shree Shree Lakshmi Narayan Trust Mahila Mahavidyalaya, Dhanbad, Jharkhand. She then pursued Master of Commerce from RSP College, Jharia, Dhanbad, Jharkhand. During her college days, she joined NCC and from there she developed an interest in rifle shooting.
Height (approx.): 5′ 6″
Weight (approx.): 50 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Her father, Parth Prateem Layak, works in a private company. Her mother, Beena Layak, is an aanganbadi worker. She had two elder sisters and one younger sister.
She started her career as a rifle shooter while she was pursuing her higher studies. She then participated in various district-level shooting competitions. In 2015, 2016, and 2017, she won state-level rifle shooting competitions. She was also qualified to participate in the national level shooting competitions in 2016 in Pune and in 2017 in Kerala. In 2021, she started her training in shooting at Jaideep Karmakar Shooting Academy in Kolkata.
On 16 December 2021, she committed suicide in her hostel room in Bally, Kolkata. During the investigation, the local police said,
Layak apparently hanged herself after her roommates left for work. The body has been sent for post-mortem. Members of her family have come from Jharkhand.”
On hearing the news of her demise, her coach Joydeep Karmakar said,
Layak suffered a setback in October when she was disqualified for the national championship at the G V Mavalankar pre-national event on charges of tampering with the target. Layak is the fourth Indian shooter to die by suicide in four months. Three shooters from Punjab shot themselves with their own firearms since September. This is definitely a bad time for the nation’s shooting sports fraternity. Maybe psychologists can throw more light on this. I got to know about Layak only after I read in the newspapers that Sood was moved by her troubles and got her a new rifle. We contacted her and asked her to come over for training. We reduced her training fees by 50%. Her skills were quite raw when we took her on board.”
Her mother had her three days prior to her death. Her mother said that she was very happy and did not have any problem. In fact, she was happy about her marriage which was going to be held in February 2022.
Konica had received one gold medal at the district level and three gold medals at the state level.
She lost the national level shooting competitions in 2016 and 2017, as she did not have the upgraded rifle. She then requested the sports authority and various NGOs to help her. Later, Sonu Sood Foundation came forward to help her and Sonu Sood gifted her a German rifle worth Rs. 2.5 lakhs. During an interview, while talking about it, she said,
I cannot have my own rifle as it costs nearly ₹ 3 lakh. I had to depend on my coach rifle or on my friend. I had arranged ₹ 80,000 from my friends and taken ₹ 1 lakh as a loan for the rifle and fortunately, Sonu Sood Foundation arranged the remaining funds for the rifle and I have already placed the order. The Germany-made rifle would be reaching me in two and half months.”
She also tweeted a thank you message for Sonu Sood. Her tweet reads,
Sir, my rifle is here. A wave of happiness has spread in my family and the whole village is blessing you.”