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Tormented teen follows her saviour in death

The 19-year-old tribal girl at the centre of Monday’s tease terror and an eyewitness to the fatal bludgeoning of a youth who took her side dropped dead in front of her mother at their Kurmidih home, near Bokaro steel city, on Wednesday.

While preliminary investigations suggest that Anita Kisku may have succumbed to the shock of routine humiliation by rogues and the murder of her 23-year-old saviour, Kumar Govind, police have refused to draw conclusions before the post-mortem report arrives. No suicide note has been found.

According to friend Dolly Kumari, who is also a next door neighbour, Anita had called her in the morning with the request for her company as she wanted to meet Kumar Basant, the younger brother of Govind who was beaten up severely with iron rods by two eve-teasers and their six aides on Monday evening, leading to his death.

“We tried getting in touch with Basant, but he was away in the market. I remember Anita feeling very upset over this,” Dolly recalled.

The two girls returned to their respective homes and Anita told her mother she was feeling unwell. “My husband (a daily wage earner) and son were away. Even before I could arrange some medical help, my daughter collapsed in front of me and breathed her last,” a bereaved Lalita Devi, who is indisposed, said.

She added that her teenaged daughter was convinced that the eve-teasers would kill her just as they had battered Govind to death. “Anita was receiving threat calls, asking her to withdraw her complaint to the police, which had led to three arrests on Tuesday,” the middle-aged woman said.

Two friends, including Dolly, stressed that Anita was in a state of shock ever since she witnessed the murder. “She and Govind had an affair. Everyone knew it. They were to get married. She hadn’t studied after Class VIII from the government school here. She depended a lot on him,” friend Mamta Kumari said.

Officer-in-charge of Balidih thana R.K. Singh said that Anita had testified against the eve-teasers, which had led to the arrests. “She was apprehensive when she gave her statement. She may have committed suicide out of fear,” he said. But, when pointed out that she might have been forced to do so or even might have been poisoned somehow, the officer quickly added: “We will reserve comments till the autopsy report comes.”

SP Jitendra Singh said the teenager’s body had been sent to Bokaro General Hospital for post-mortem and police would begin investigations into an unnatural death case.

“Raids are, meanwhile, on to nab the other accused in yesterday’s murder. It is unfortunate that the girl is no more. She was the only eyewitness who had given her statement,” the SP said, adding that they would pull out all the stops to crack the bizarre case.