The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Teen toll up in TV tug-of-war
- Rebuke suicide rerun in 72 hours rings homefront alarm

Television-watching, the perennial problem point between parents and teenagers, claimed another young life on Thursday.

Admonished by her father for spending too much time watching television on Wednesday night, 17-year-old Susmita Das hanged herself from the ceiling fan in her room early on Thursday.

Susmita lived with her parents and younger brother at 24A, DD Khanna Road, in the Phoolbagan police station area, and was a student of Class XI at Sukanya Vidyalaya, in Beleghata.

The incident comes barely 72 hours after Mohua Roy, 13, killed herself after being scolded by her mother for spending more time watching television than studying.

'Susanta Das had scolded daughter Susmita late on Wednesday for watching too much TV. Around 2 am, he woke up to find the lights on in Susmita's room, and the radio (that used to be her constant companion) blaring into the night,' said Jawed Shamim, deputy commissioner of police (eastern suburban division).

'Das knocked on the door, which was locked from inside, but there was no response. The door was broken open and the girl was found dead, hanging by her dupatta, which she had hooked around the ceiling fan in her room,' added Shamim.

Unlike Mohua, who was a student of Class VII, Susmita did not leave behind a suicide note.

According to police, the girl was rushed to Nilratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital, where she was pronounced brought dead. An unnatural death case was registered with the local police station, and the body sent for post-mortem.

'After preliminary investigation, we found no hint of any foul play,' said an officer of Phoolbagan police station who is probing the case.

For Susmita, music was the primary source of relaxation. And though she was never a bad student, her parents were upset about the hours she spent tuned into the music channels.

With two teenaged girls taking their lives under similar circumstances within just a few days, the TV-viewing tug-of-war between parents and children has come into tragic focus.

Psychologist Bhargavi Chatterjee-Bhattacharya of Bhagirathi Neotia Woman and Child Care Centre, said: 'Parents often cannot gauge that their child is growing up and assuming a new identity. They also fail to understand common adolescent problems, like mood swings. Parents should set boundaries for their child's indulgences, but slowly. They should not be unrealistic (in their demands).'

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