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Calcutta trader commits suicide

The lodge in Bhubaneswar where Somnath Behera’s body was found. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 3: A businessman, who had been staying at a lodge in the capital for the past one month, committed suicide today by consuming poison.

Somnath Behera, 50, who hailed from Nilagiri in Balasore district, was rushed to the Capital Hospital but was declared brought dead.

He used to run a transport business and was based in Calcutta.

Police found a suicide note and a bottle containing some medicines near the body. But the note gave no clue about the reason behind the suicide.

“We found the suicide note which said that no one was responsible for his death,” said Aseem Panda, inspector in charge of Capital Police station. The police have seized an airbag containing his clothes and his purse containing some ATM cards.

Police said Behera had been staying in the lodge since December 30 last year. The lodge staff informed the Capital Police when Behera did not open his room at night for dinner to be served to him.

“When one of our staff members knocked at his door around 9pm to ask him about his dinner, he did not respond. Suspecting foul play we informed the police who rushed to the lodge. They broke open the room and found Behera foaming at the mouth. He was then rushed to the Capital Hospital,” said a staff member of the lodge.

The police then informed the family members of Behera at his village in Balasore. Though Behera was from Balasore, he had been staying in Calcutta for the last 20 years.

“He had married there and was staying there. He had last contacted us around seven months ago,” said Bapunu Behera, a cousin of Behera from his village.

His relatives, who had come to take the body, said they were unaware of his whereabouts for many years and had no idea why he had committed suicide. He was married and had a 17-year-old son in Calcutta.

However, the police said Behera had a disturbed family life with his wife and son staying away from him for the past two years. “It might be the reason why he committed suicide,” said a police officer.

The police have registered a case of unnatural death.

and after post-mortem handed over the body to Behera’s family members.