The entrance gate of the home. Telegraph picture
Behrampore, Sept. 30: A 14-year-old boy was found dead with a bruise in his back today at a government home for destitute and delinquent children in Behrampore with the district judge saying it could be murder.
Rajen Murmu, a Class VI student of a local high school, had been taken to the home one and a half years ago by his grandmother Sudharani.
“His father died when he was an infant and his mother deserted him after that. I used to look after him. However, I had to send him to the home because I was finding it difficult to bring him up,” Sudharani, resident of Madhunia, 25km from Behrampore, said.
After Rajen was found lying dead on his back by some of the inmates around 6am, the authorities of Ananda Ashram informed the district judge and the district magistrate, who monitor the functioning of the home.
District judge P.K. Bandopadhyay, who visited Ananda Ashram today, said: “It appears to be a case of murder. I am shocked. I have asked the chief judicial magistrate to conduct an inquiry and submit a report to me.”
Police said Rajen’s three roommates had been kept in isolation and would be interrogated.
Sanjib Dey, the inspector in charge of Behrampore police station, said it was difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of the death immediately. “We have started an investigation and are awaiting the post-mortem report. We have asked the home authorities not to allow the inmates to leave the premises to meet their families and relatives for now.”
Ananda Ashram has 126 inmates, including 25 juvenile delinquents. Most of the inmates are either orphans or belong to very poor families.
Sudharani said the home authorities had informed her this morning that her grandson had fallen ill. “When I came here, I came to know he had died,” she said.
P. Singha Roy, the district social welfare officer, said: “There was no other external mark of injury on Rajen’s body except for the bruise in his back. We will have to wait for the post-mortem report.”