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School head kills himself

The 50-year-old headmaster of a primary school in Sealdah was found hanging in a classroom after the school got over on Friday evening.

Purnendu Das’s daughter, who had come to Surendranath Collegiate School after her calls to his phone went unanswered, was the first to spot him hanging from a fan. He was taken to hospital where he was declared dead.

“We suspect it to be a case of suicide, though no note has been found. A probe has revealed that Das was debt-ridden,” said an officer of Muchipara police station.

The school, in the same compound as Surendranath College, is a state-aided institution that runs classes I to IV.

Employees said Das would often stay back after the school got over. “No one had any suspicion when the headmaster stayed back on Friday. Some masons who were working in the building were the last to leave, around 3.30pm,” said an employee.

One of Das’s daughters came searching for him around 5.30pm. The police said the school gate had been locked by then. She sought a guard’s help to open the lock. “During the search he was found hanging from the fan in a classroom,” said the officer.

Colleagues remember the Belghoria resident as a “soft-spoken” person, always “neck-deep” in work. “He would speak very softly and never picked fight with anyone,” recounted Surendranath College principal Chinmoy Shekhar Sarkar.