The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Boy death blame on CPM leader

Limbutari (Phansidewa), Nov. 17: Sixteen-year-old Sambhu Roy from this nondescript village, some 35 km from Siliguri, killed himself last night 'unable to bear the humiliation he was subjected to' for Rs 45.

In a note that the Class IX boy of Phansidewa High School left behind before hanging himself from a tree in front of his house, Sambhu has blamed Kunjamohan Pal, a local panchayat member and CPM leader, and two other villagers, for abetting his suicide.

According to his family members, Sambhu was the treasurer of a local club, which had organised a Kali Puja in the village. A part of the funds collected as subscriptions was left with Sambhu, who gave Rs 45 to some of his friends, who had asked for the money to purchase carom pieces for the club.

'This resulted in animosity with his fellow club members. Club secretary Sajal Pal and another member Dutta Pal beat up my son, accusing him of not following club discipline and taking decisions on his own,' Sambhu's father Dikaru Roy said.

When the situation worsened in the past one week and beatings became regular, Sambhu's parents approached village panchayat members and elders to sort out the problem. A salishi sabha (reconciliation meeting) was also held on Tuesday.

'Instead of sorting out the matter, Kunjamohan Pal sided with the other boys, who wield more power than us in the village, and my son was beaten up in front of everybody. Sambhu was accused of misusing funds, when it was actually some of the other club members who had squandered the money on carom pieces. Those who assaulted my son went unpunished,' Roy added.

'This was too much for my son to handle,' mother Somey said. 'Since then, he has not been eating or studying for his exams, which was supposed to start today. Last night, he quietly slipped out of bed and hanged himself with a rope from the tree,' she added. The body was first seen by Sambhu's brother.

The Roys have lodged a complaint with the police, blaming the three of abetting their son's suicide.

Kunjamohan Pal and the other accused could not be contacted for comment. 'Whatever the Roys have said is false. They are just trying to frame my innocent brother,' is all that one of the relatives of the accused, who was standing in front of the Roy home, said. However, they refused to give their version of the story.

Dindayal Singha, the panchayat pradhan of Phansidewa, has accused the Roys of 'unnecessarily politicising the issue'.

He said: 'Kunjamohan had no role to play in the entire episode, except that he tried to bring about a reconciliation among the boys.'

'It is not clear as to why the boy committed suicide, when at the reconciliation meeting, in which even I was present, the other boys of the club apologised for their mistake. Sambhu may have mentioned Kunjamohan's name in a moment of extreme emotional stress,' he added.

Darjeeling superintendent of police Rajeev Mishra said: 'A case has been registered and investigations are on.'

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