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Student crusader drinks pesticide

A Class XII student, who also championed women empowerment, died of poisoning at her Patamda home, 30km from Jamshedpur, on Tuesday morning in what appears to be a case of suicide.

However, the reason behind 18-year-old Triloka Mahto’s sudden death wish is yet to be ascertained. No suicide note has been found and police have sent the body for post-mortem.

According to relatives, the student of local Jalla Intermediate College was alone at their Bagurda village home in Kamalpur police station area when mother Savitri Mahto left to tend to their paddy crop. The woman returned three hours later to find her daughter writhing in unease on the floor. She also found an empty bottle of pesticide beside the girl.

“Savitri and other villagers rushed Triloka to the nearby referral hospital in Patamda. Following doctors’ advice, she was shifted to MGM Medical College and Hospital in Sakchi. She died half an hour into treatment,” said Subhas Mahto, a maternal uncle of the deceased.

He, however, could not nail the reason behind such an extreme step. “She was a courageous girl who also ran a self-help group where women were taught sewing. There was no sign of distress or tension when she woke up in the morning. She hasn’t left behind a note either. We are all clueless,” the uncle said.

Triloka was youngest among three sisters. Both her elder siblings are married. “I wanted my third daughter to settle down as well after intermediate studies. She was a cheerful girl. I cannot believe she left me like this,” said a bereaved Savitri who lost her husband three years ago.

Assistant sub-inspector B.P. Majhi said the body had been sent to MGM Medical College in Dimna for post-mortem. “The statement of the girl’s mother and circumstantial evidence suggest suicide. But, we can confirm the same only after autopsy,” he said.

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