Guwahati, Aug. 21: Bondita Barman, a second year degree student, today jumped into the Brahmaputra from the Saraighat bridge. River police are yet to recover her body.
The 19-year-old was a resident of Boragaon here and was pursuing her degree course from Lalit Chandra Bharali College.
The police are yet to ascertain the reason behind her action.
Police sources said the incident occurred around 11.30am. Witnesses informed the river police outpost at Pandu here about the incident. The river police also informed the staff of Gammon India Ltd, the company engaged in construction work near the spot.
“After we were informed by people, we rushed to the spot on a boat. In the meantime, a team from Gammon India Ltd also set out on a ship to help us search for the girl. Though search is on, we are yet to find her body. Because of strong currents in the river, the girl must have drowned within minutes,” a member of the river police team said.
Before jumping into the river, Bondita had kept her belongings — a bag and a pair of sandals — on the bridge. The river police found a small purse, a Reliance sim card, a handkerchief and a notebook inside the bag. It was through this sim card that they managed to inform her family.
“After inserting the sim we found her aunt’s name and number. Soon her uncle and some friends arrived at the spot. We handed over her belongings to her family. Her friends told us that she had attended classes this morning and seemed normal. But her family told us that unlike other days, she did not carry her mobile phone while going to college today,” the policeman said.
Cases of such suicides are on the rise. Unlike other states, Assam lacks a helpline where people suffering from depression or any kind of emotional trauma can call for help.
However, city-based NGO Ashadeep had launched a helpline called Paritranam about a year ago.
“Initially, after the launch of our helpline Paritranam we used to get about 60-70 calls from people suffering from mental and emotional problems. Psychologists here provide them with counselling so that they can cope with their distress and do not take any extreme step. But, of late, the number of calls has reduced. Anyone in distress can call at 9954471111 and we will try our best to help him or her,” said Anjana Goswami, director of Ashadeep.