The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Partiality’ pushes girl to poison

Calcutta, Aug. 25: Priti Mondal, 12, was upset. Her brother was the apple of her parents’ eyes. He got away with murder while she was pulled up repeatedly over “trivial” matters.

Angry little Priti took a drastic step this Friday. A student of Sibrampur Girls’ School in Behala, she swallowed poison and collapsed on her desk in the first period.

Priti’s teachers rushed her to Vidyasagar Hospital. She is “responding to treatment, but is still not out of danger”, said the hospital authorities.

Her mother Sadhana fainted on hearing the news and had to be hospitalised along with her daughter. She too is in a serious condition.

Priti’s friends in school said she was depressed as she felt that her mother scolded and beat her over trifle matters. “She was slowly feeling like an outcast in her family as she saw her younger brother get away with much bigger mistakes,” one of Priti’s friends said.

Panna Mondal, Priti’s father, is a trader in Tollygunge. The Mondals stay in a modest rented house at Naskarpara in Behala.

“She was a bright student but was very sentimental and emotional,” a teacher who had known Priti closely said.

On Friday morning, Priti walked into Class VII B for the first period at 10 am looking pale. A few friends tried to strike a conversation with her, but she ignored them and headed straight for class.

The grim girl took a seat in the middle benches. As soon as the students settled down, Priti took out a pouch from her pocket. It contained some powder which she put in her mouth.

Five minutes later, before the teacher came to the classroom, she felt dizzy and collapsed. Panicky and screaming students informed the teachers, who rushed to the classroom.

Priti was immediately taken to Vidyasagar Hospital, where doctors said she had consumed “rat poison” which is available in the market.

“Priti told the investigating police officers that she wanted to end her life because she felt that her parents pampered her brother and scolded her often for no fault of hers,” said deputy superintendent of police, town, Subhankar Chatterjee.

When Sadhana learnt of Priti’s extreme step, she fell unconscious. A local doctor treated her, but on Saturday she complained of weakness and chest pain.

“She was wailing and was overcome with a feeling of guilt,” Panna said. On Saturday, she was admitted to the same hospital where her daughter is recovering.

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