The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rape slur in suicide

The family of an 18-year-old domestic found hanging in her employer’s house has filed a rape-and-murder complaint without naming anyone.

Trader Ganesh Rathi’s family called Alipore police station when Jhumpa Sardar, their live-in help, did not emerge from her room in their apartment at Saket Building, on Diamond Harbour Road, till late on Friday morning. The police broke open the door and found Jhumpa hanging by a rope tied to a hook in the ceiling.

Although no suicide note was found, the police assumed she killed herself because the room was locked from inside.

Jhumpa’s paternal uncle, 42-year-old Swapan Sardar, later filed a complaint alleging that she had been raped and murdered. “The autopsy report will reveal the truth. We can’t arrest anyone till then,” an officer said.

The police found ligature marks on the girl’s neck but no tell-tale injuries on the body. “A search of the apartment did not yield any incriminating evidence,” the officer said.

Rathi’s brother Mahesh was taken to Lalbazar for questioning because he was the one who had called the police. His elder sibling was out of town when Jhumpa was found dead.

“We were trying to find out about Jhumpa’s activities and interaction with other residents of the building. Several neighbours of the Rathis were questioned, too,” an officer at Lalbazar said.

Jhumpa’s family is based in Baruipur. She had come to work and stay in Saket Building barely two months ago.

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