Mystery shrouds the death of Puja Bharti, a civil engineering student of National Institute of Technology (NIT) Patna, who jumped off Mahatma Gandhi Setu late on Wednesday evening.
Sources in the institute on Thursday said Bharti, who was among the top five students of the fourth-year batch, had talked to somebody on her cellphone for nearly 30 minutes before taking the fatal plunge. Sashi Kumar, a final year student, said: “Bharti left the institute around 4.30pm. We received information from Mahatma Gandhi Setu police station around 8pm that a girl from our institute had jumped off the bridge.”
“We have come to know from the information provided by the police team patrolling the spot that Bharti had talked to somebody before committing suicide,” said another final-year student.
Kumar Amitabh, the station house officer of Mahatma Gandhi Setu police station, said: “We are trying to find out with whom she had talked to over her phone before committing suicide. We have sought call details from the service provider.”
Another riddle is why Bharti had gone to Gandhi Setu though she lived with her mother in a rented apartment at Salimpur Ahra in the Gandhi Maidan area. Salimpur Ahra and Gandhi Setu are in opposite direction from the NIT.
The police team patrolling the Gandhi Setu found Bharti’s identity card, a sandal and her two-wheeler parked on the bridge. The sources said the student was in a state of shock following the death of her brother in an accident around a month ago.
The NIT administration has demanded a probe into the incident. “The police should find out why the girl committed suicide,” NIT director Asok De said.
Some students questioned the late reaction of the district administration. “The incident occurred around 7.45pm. But till 12.30am, there was no sight of any rescue team,” said Tushar, Bharti’s batchmate.