The Telegraph
Sunday , July 6 , 2014
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Worry over suicide surge

Patna, July 5: The state has ranked second in the country in terms of increase in suicides in 2013 over 2012, according to the latest figures released by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

The NCRB report, Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India 2013, released last Monday, shows suicides in Bihar have increased by 39.3 per cent during the last year.

Family problems, illness and suspected illicit relations were some of the major causes for the suicides in the state.

Around 2.7 per cent suicide cases in the state were due to suspected/illicit relations.

Youths (15-29 years) and lower middle-aged people (30-44 years) were the prime groups taking recourse to the path of suicides.

The NCRB report states that around 34.4 per cent suicide victims were youths in the age group of 15-29 years and 33.8 per cent were middle-aged persons in the age group 30-44 years.

Among the specified causes, failure in examination, family problems, illness and love affairs were the principal causes of suicides among children (below 14 years of age).

Psychologists and sociologists said high ambitions and family pressure are at times force the youth to take such extreme steps.

“A 19-year-old boy from Buddha Colony was one of my patients, who once tried to take such an extreme step. He was being mentally and physically harassed by a homosexual boy of the same age. Owing to the barriers of the society, he was hesitant in telling his parents the exact problem and they were also not quite supportive as they felt that he was not serious about his studies. Parents need to pay proper attention to the youths these days as they face different types of pressures,” said clinical psychologist Binda Singh.

On an average, more than 1 lakh people commit suicides every year across the country during the last decade (2003-2013). As per the NCRB report, Bihar is only second to Arunachal Pradesh (76.2 per cent) in terms of percentage increase in suicides in 2013 over 2012, followed by Uttar Pradesh (19.5 per cent) at the third position, Nagaland (23.3 per cent) at the fourth and Haryana (17.3 per cent) at the fifth places.

Senior police officers also claimed that youths were more vulnerable than any other age groups.

“Though I have not received the NCRB report in person but as per my opinion, youths (between 15 and 25 years) and their psychological problems, including depression and frustration, because various socio-economic issues are at times responsible for rise in suicide cases. If family issues or pressure from parents lead to suicide attempt then also the person(s) responsible for forcing a suicide is booked under the IPC Section 306. In case, the reason of suicide remains unknown or done without any third-party influence, then section 309 is imposed but since the deceased cannot be put under trial, thus the case is closed under the same section,” said Gupteshwar Pandey, addition director-general of police (headquarters).

The NCRB report has further stated that the overall male-female ratio of suicide victims for 2013 was 67.2:32.8, showing a marginal increase of male and marginal decrease of female ratio as compared to 2012 (66.2:33.8).

The report added that social and economic causes led most of the men to commit suicide while emotional and personal causes have mainly driven women to end their lives.

“Broken relationships, obsession towards opposite sex and marital disputes are few reasons behind suicide cases among youths. As the joint family concept is also being increasingly replaced by nuclear families, thus the children also suffer from lack of proper attention. The cities in Bihar are comparatively small and ambitions of both parents as well as their wards are very high. The opportunities on the other hand, are comparatively less here, which leads to frustration among the youths. Families need to support each and every member to avoid any extreme step like suicide,” said sociologist Ritukar Jha.