The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Astrologer held for fatal forecast

Burdwan, Feb. 11: This is one event that the popular astrologer could not predict. Subhendu Mukherjee, an astrologer, was arrested today for driving a college girl to suicide a year ago almost to the day.

Sarmishtha Roy was 20 last February 10 when she slipped out of her residence in Icchlabad here on the pretext of going to college and flung herself before a speeding train at Shaktigarh station, ending her life.

A year later, her mother found a diary written by her daughter while cleaning an almirah she used.

In an entry in the diary, Sarmishtha wrote that one day on her way back from college, she had visited Mukherjee and asked him to read her palm. Mukherjee gave his “predictions” in writing.

The palmist foresaw a bleak future for Sarmishtha. According to him, she would have a disturbed marriage and unless she was symbolically wedded to a deity before her actual marriage, disaster would strike.

The astrologer also predicted that she would have debilitating illnesses like stones in her gall bladder, kidney complaints, high blood sugar, hypertension and heart ailments.

Sarmishtha’s father, Subhas Roy, lodged a complaint, along with the evidence, with Burdwan police station last night. Mukherjee was picked up early today from his Khosbagan residence.

Sitting in the police station, a crestfallen Mukherjee pleaded innocence. “I have proper qualifications to ply my trade and hundreds of people come to me for predictions. What can I do if someone commits suicide' The reason was definitely not me,” Mukherjee added.

“We have arrested the astrologer on the basis of the father’s complaint and the contents of the diary the girl had left behind,” said Burdwan police superintendent B.N. Ramesh. He said the police would press charges against the man for driving the girl to suicide after an investigation.

“My life is fraught with terrible luck and hopeless. I have no wish to lead a life of sadness and pain, the only salvation before me is death,” Sarmishtha wrote in the diary.

Sarmishtha’s father said: “After her elder sister got married, we were looking for a match for Sarmishtha and we found a young man whom she liked. I have never seen my daughter suffer from illness, but the astrologer’s predictions drove her to depression and death. The palmist could have told us about her future.”

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