The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Teen falls to death at dental college

An 18-year-old girl died on Thursday morning after she fell off the third floor balcony of Rashid Ahmed Dental College and Hospital on AJC Bose Road. Swapna Das was rushed to Nilratan Sirkar Medical College and Hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries.

Swapna, employed as a domestic help at a Salt Lake residence, had come to the hospital for treatment with her father, Tarani Das, at eight in the morning. “We had an appointment with the doctor today. My daughter had been regularly visiting the dental college for the past two months as she had an infection,” said Das.

“Both of us were seated on a bench in front of the periodontic ward on the first floor, waiting for our turn. I had dozed off and woke up when I heard people shouting, pointing towards the ground floor. Swapna wasn’t there beside me, or anywhere around. So, I rushed down. A crowd had gathered in the courtyard and my daughter was lying unconscious on the floor,” the father added.

Swapan Bhattacharya, an employee of the dental college who was witness to the incident, said he heard a loud thud around 9.45 am while he was chatting with a friend in the courtyard. Bhattacharya turned around and found the girl lying motionless in front of the main gate. “We rushed to her and took her to NRS Hospital,” he said.

Naseem Ali, officer in-charge of Muchipara police station, said it could either be a case of suicide or an accident. “According to a few witnesses, Swapna had jumped off the balcony. But it is hard to establish it, as some others said she had been sitting on the railing and fell off. The statements are contradictory. We can’t rule out the second possibility altogether, as it is quite possible that she fainted and slipped off the railing,” Ali explained.

“If it is suicide, I have no idea why she would take her own life. Her father had brought her to us from Murshidabad when she was barely five and, since then, she had been staying at our place. She had become a part of our family,” said Shantanu Sinha Roy of Salt Lake, who had employed Swapna.

Police are also probing the possibility of foul play. “We are interrogating several people in this connection,” Ali added.

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