Bhubaneswar, Sept. 26: A 19-year-old working woman was allegedly killed inside her rented house at Kanan Vihar in Infocity police limits late last night.
Though the exact cause of death is yet to be ascertained, police have detained a male companion of the deceased Haseena Das, a native of Jagatsinghpur.
The body of Das, who worked as a laboratory technician at a Patia diagnostic centre, was found lying on the floor of the house. The police said she had cut marks on her neck.
The matter came to light when the landlord's wife came to the ground floor to lock the entrance.
The landlord and his family live on the first floor.
"When she found the door unlocked, she went ahead to see why it wasn't locked. She entered the house to find the body," said a police official.
Investigations revealed that Das had been staying at the house for three months with her roommate who works as a computer trainer.
"Her roommate had gone to her native place in Sambalpur last Sunday and the deceased had been staying alone during this time," said the police official.
Later, the police came to know a man had come to drop her in the evening.
"Prima facie, the incident could either be murder or a case of suicide. The injuries on her neck appear to be self-inflicted. But as the room of the deceased has been ransacked, we cannot rule out the possibility of murder," police said.
Deputy commissioner of police Satyabrata Bhoi said they were interrogating the male companion of the deceased.
"We have also asked her roommate to appear before the police to ascertain whether the deceased had any enemy. We are also interrogating her landlord and neighbours," said Bhoi.
The police have also found that the deceased had problems within her family because she had been visiting her uncle's house instead of her native place for the past few months.
"The call details of the deceased is also being verified," police said.
The incident has raised questions on the safety of working women in the city, especially those staying in rented houses.
On September 15, the police had arrested two men for entering a private ladies' hostel and carrying out a robbery at Chandrasekharpur. Besides, the cops are yet to arrest the accused involved in the assault of a 25-year-old woman while she was waiting outside her rented house on Water Tank Lane under Saheed Nagar police limits in the early hours of September 4.
The police said they would shortly instruct the police stations concerned to physically verify the security measures taken by landlords renting out their houses to women.
In August 2015, the police had asked all landlords to engage private security guards from licensed security agencies to ensure safety of women boarders.
The landlords had also been asked to install CCTV cameras at vantage points with due precaution but not breaching the privacy of the inmates with 30 days back-up facility.
The police order had clearly mentioned that in the case of a landlord renting his/her house to five or more women, the establishment would be considered as a private residential hostel/mess for women.