The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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10-yr-old dies in search of flowers

Krishnagar, Oct. 16: A theft for the Goddess turned fatal for a 10-year-old boy near here on a day his father committed suicide a year ago.

Sadhan Haldar fell to his death this morning from the first-floor sunshade of a building that he had climbed to pluck flowers for the puja at home in Krishnagar’s Kalingar, about 85 km from Calcutta.

A concrete chunk fell on the boy’s chest. “The moment Sadhan put his feet on the sunshade, it collapsed,” Nadia superintendent of police R. Rajsekharan said.

His father Sushanta had committed suicide on Lakshmi Puja night last year unable to bear the shock of daughter Anima’s death.

Sadhan’s 16-year-old sister committed suicide on Bijoya Dashami last year because she did not get new clothes for Durga Puja.

Sushanta worked as a mason and found it difficult to make both ends meet.

A local police officer said Sadhan’s mother Alo worked as a domestic help to run the family. Sadhan and his two other sisters went to school. He was in Class III of the local primary school. His sister Ranu, 9, is also in Class III. Swapna, 14, is a Class IX student.

Like every year, Alo organised her small Lakshmi Puja. “Sadhan asked his mother not to buy flowers and assured her that he would get them from gardens in the neighbourhood,” an official said.

“I told my son repeatedly not to go out for flowers as I feared he would be accused of stealing. But he did not listen. ‘How will you buy flowers' Even a garland would cost Rs 10 today’, he told me. He went out around 5 am,” said Alo, wiping tears with an end of her sari.

While going out, Sadhan also called two of his friends, Mithun Haldar and Pampa Saha, to accompany him. However, after a while, he sent them back saying he would take some more time.

He went to another neighbourhood and located tagar flowers beside a three-storey house. He scaled its boundary wall and climbed atop the sunshade to pluck the flowers.

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