The spot at Kadma, on the banks of Kharkai, where Rajo Patel’s body was discovered on Thursday. (Animesh Sengupta)
The body of a 69-year-old woman was recovered from river Kharkai along Bhatia Bustee under Kadma police station area on Thursday morning, pointing to suicide possibly due to depression over prolonged neglect meted out by her son, a Tata Steel employee.
Rajo Ratan Patel, a widow, went missing from a benefactor’s home at Jaiprabha Complex in Bhatia Bustee on Tuesday morning. On Thursday, around 7am, bathers at Kharkai found a woman’s body floating in the river and informed Kadma police. The body was then identified as Patel’s.
The elderly lady’s troubles began six months ago when her son Rajendra Kumar, a Tata Steel employee and resident of Teesta Road in Kadma, drove her out of home.
“When she was driven out by her son, one V. Kali Prasad gave her shelter at his house in Jaiprabha Complex considering her wretched state. In return, she did some of his domestic chores. On Tuesday, she went out for a morning walk like she did everyday, but did not return,” said sub-inspector D.K. Singh of Kadma police station who is investigating the case.
He added all indications pointed to her suicide, considering her helpless state.
Singh also said that Prasad, after searching for her for a whole day, had lodged a missing report with Kadma police on Wednesday morning.
Rajendra, informed by Prasad about his mother’s disappearance, had also enquired about her at the police station.
He cremated his mother on Thursday and would be questioned by the police about the circumstances leading to her leaving the house.
Relatives said that Rajendra and his wife had “quarrelled” with the elderly lady, who they added had become lonely and depressed after her husband’s death four years ago. However, they also claimed that Patel must have met with an accident.
“A person won’t commit suicide just because she is scolded by her own son. It is true there was a quarrel between the mother and son, in which the daughter-in-law, but it is unlikely that one would commit suicide by jumping in the river. Her death appears to be an accident,” a relative told The Telegraph.
The relative added that Patel had started avoided relatives after becoming a widow.
Relatives may be shielding Rajendra from charges of abetting his mother’s suicide. Sub-inspector Singh said chances of the lady’s death being an accident were very slim.