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Carmel girl kills self before ICSE exam

A 17-year-old student of Carmel Junior College committed suicide at her Sonari West Layout home, hours before she was to appear for her ICSE mathematics paper on Wednesday morning.

Isha Virdi was found hanging from the ceiling fan in her room with a dupatta around 7.30am by her father who broke open the door when she did not respond.

The body was later sent to MGM Medical College and Hospital for post-mortem.

Officer-in-charge of Sonari police station Sanjeev Kumar said the teenager’s body had become stiff by the time they reached, suggesting that she had killed herself sometime past midnight. He added that no suicide note was found though circumstantial evidence — like the door being bolted from inside — confirmed her death wish.

Bereaved father Pritam Singh Virdi, who is the manager of SBI’s Dimna branch, in a statement to the police said Isha might have committed suicide because of examination pressure.

However, vice-principal of Carmel Junior College Sister Anna expressed shock and surprise. “The mathematics paper has been one of the easiest in recent years and she was never a bad student. We have no idea why she took such an extreme step,” she said.

“The next paper is on March 1. We will observe two minutes of silence in her memory that day,” Sister Anna said.

One of Isha’s classmates, who is a resident of Adarshnagar Phase VI in Sonari, too said the teen was good in academics. “Isha was a nice girl. We fail to understand why she took such a drastic step.”

A local convener of the board exam and principal of Loyola School Father Victor Misquith said he was aware of the unfortunate incident.

Suicide is almost endemic in the steel city, which has seen as many as 37 make the death wish in the first two months of 2013. Of them, more than half a dozen were students, according to M. Ram, the director of pro-life organisation Jeevan.

Tata Steel has teamed up with Jeevan to stem the trend.

For starters, the steel giant is funding Jeevan’s campaign. In collaboration, they are installing billboards in front of schools with Jeevan’s helpline number so that stressed students know where to call. The plan is to cover all 140 schools.