The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Son suicide bid as mother dies
- Cancer last-stage news sets off wrist slash

He was aware that his mother, a terminal cancer patient, was counting her days. But when, on Saturday, the doctor said she was not likely to survive the night, he just could not take it any more.

Debjit Mukherjee, 40, slashed his right wrist with a razor, hoping to end his life before his mother breathed her last.

Shelley, 62, died at 4.30 am, in her Dhakuria Station Road home, unaware that her son had tried to kill himself a few hours ago and was in a critical condition at a nearby hospital.

Prasanta Mukherjee was left standing outside the ICU of a private hospital on Sunday morning, watching his son battling for life and waiting to take away his wife’s body for the last rites.

A shroud descended over the Mukherjee residence as friends and family gathered to stand by a bereaved husband and an anxious father in his hour of grief.

“I have just returned from the crematorium and am exhausted. My wife was suffering from lung cancer and died this morning,” said Prasanta Mukherjee, when contacted in the evening.

The news from the hospital was encouraging — Debjit had regained consciousness.

Doctors at the hospital said Debjit’s condition was “stabilising”. He has not been informed about his mother’s death yet. “We had to perform a surgery on Debjit’s wrist after he was brought in yesterday,” said surgeon Debashish Banerjee.

Shelley was a beautician attached to a leading salon on Shakespeare Sarani. She had been suffering for quite some time and was under constant medication and monitoring at home.

According to neighbours, a nurse attending to her had accidentally stumbled upon Debjit, lying bleeding with the vein on his right wrist slit open.

That was around 9 pm on Saturday in one room of the Dhakuria house. Prasanta Mukherjee later recalled how Debjit had stormed into his room and slammed the door shut, after learning from the doctor how critical his mother’s condition was.

An ambulance was called in immediately and an unconscious Debjit rushed to hospital. Shelley’s condition, meanwhile, deteriorated rapidly. The end came early in the morning.

“Debjit was suffering from depression. He was married, but had gone through a divorce a few years ago. He was very close to his mother. They were a very affectionate family,” said neighbour Subrata Kayal.

According to neighbours, Debjit was a successful professional working with a private firm. But with mother fighting cancer and he suffering from depression, everything went horribly wrong for the family.

“We have received information about the incident,” admitted deputy superintendent of police (town) Humayun Kabir, when contacted late on Sunday.

“Officers from Jadavpur police station have already visited the Mukherjee residence. Prasanta Mukherjee was in no condition to speak. Both father and son are traumatised. We will speak to them later to find out the details,” Kabir said.

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