Pratibha Kumari’s house at Budhram Mohalla in Sonari. (Bhola Prasad)
A student of KMPM Vocational College hanged herself in the study of her Sonari home in the small hours of Tuesday, taking Jamshedpur’s suicide toll to a staggering 44 since January.
Pratibha Kumari (18), dotingly called Dolly, was a resident of the densely populated Budhram Mohalla in the heart of the steel city. She was an average pupil studying in the second year of the three-year bachelor of business administration (BBA) course at the Bistupur cradle.
Family members said, like every other day, Dolly had retired into the study after dinner around 10pm on Monday. But, she did not open the door in the morning. Around 8am, her parents were forced to break open the door, which was bolted from inside, as she did not answer to their repeated knocks. The teen was found hanging from an iron angle in a window, with a dupatta as her noose. There was, however, no suicide note.
Dolly was rushed to Tata Main Hospital, but doctors declared her brought dead. The time of death, they said, was around 4am.
In a statement to Sonari police, father Dhirendra Kumar said his daughter had not seemed the least upset at dinner and they had no clue why she chose to end her life.
Speaking to reporters, he further said that there was no pressure on her regarding studies or any other matter. “I cannot say why my daughter committed suicide. I can’t think of any reason,” the small-time businessman looked and sounded shocked.
Officer-in-charge of Sonari police station Sanjiv Kumar too said that they had not been able to ascertain any reason behind the student’s sudden death wish. “The girl has not left behind any suicide note and her family members say she was normal till yesterday. We have hit a blind lane,” he added.
College principal A.S. Madan claimed he was not aware of the suicide. “BBA classes have remained suspended for two days and no student is coming to campus. Hence, we are in the dark about the incident,” he said.
Sudeshna Sinha, a friend and classmate from Kadma who visited Dolly’s home in the morning, said she was shocked. “I have no idea why Pratibha killed herself,” she said, adding that though the deceased was an average student, it was not exam time at the cradle and there was no academic pressure.
Tuesday’s incident was the first student suicide in March. M. Ram, the director of pro-life centre Jeevan, said the young generation was unable to strike a balance in life, which was spurring their death wish. “Fifty years ago, suicide was rare. Now, it is rampant. Life has no balance today,” he said.