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TRAGEDY AFTER TRAGEDY IN NATWAR SINGH'S FAMILY 

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OUR BUREAU   |     |   Published 09.05.02, 12:00 AM

New Delhi, May 9 :    New Delhi, May 9:  Tragedy struck for the second time in two months in Congress leader Natwar Singh's family tonight when his daughter Ritu Singh died in mysterious circumstances. Police and family sources said she committed suicide. Early reports said Ritu had hanged herself. Shortly before her death, she met representatives of the Chinmaya Mission who are believed to have performed a puja in the house. On March 17, Singh lost his daughter-in-law Natasha Singh who was found dead in a five-star hotel here. Her body was discovered on the first floor terrace of the hotel and so far police have not been able to establish whether Natasha, estranged from husband Jagat, had jumped to her death or been killed. Wiser after being criticised for exceeding their brief during investigations into Natasha's death, when they gave conflicting versions, the police this time are tightlipped. Ritu, 31, was found in the first floor room of the Singhs' Vasant Vihar residence around 7.30 pm. Her maid servant Surinder Kaur found the room locked from inside and informed family members who broke it open, family lawyer R.K. Anand and a police spokesman said. There was no suicide note, the police spokesman told PTI. The circumstances pointed to the possibility of suicide. Anand said Ritu, who was unmarried, had tied the rope of her sleeping dress round her neck and fastened it to a hanger kept in the almirah and pulled herself. The police spokesman said there were marks on her neck. Ritu, like Natasha a fashion designer, had been suffering from chronic depression for years and had taken a heavy dose of the sedative Alprex before her death, Anand said. Under the shock, Natwar Singh complained of chest pain and was being attended to in his home by a team of doctors from Escorts Hospital. He is likely to be shifted to a hospital once his condition stabilises. Ritu was to return to London where she had been living before she came to India in March when her sister-in-law and friend Natasha died. The two had known each other from school and Natasha was introduced to Jagat by Ritu. Family sources denied that there was a link between the two tragedies. They said Ritu was undergoing psychiatric treatment and suffering from bulimia, a disease that had afflicted the late Princess Diana. Bulimia patients go on eating binges - usually triggered by dieting - and then throw it all up, overwhelmed by self-criticism and even self-loathing. Ritu's body will be taken to the ancestral home in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, tomorrow. A post-mortem was conducted at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences. On May 7, another senior Congress leader, Shivraj Patil's daughter Sapna had committed suicide in Bangalore. AICC chief Sonia Gandhi was among the first to reach Singh's residence. Some Congress leaders who called on the family said Singh looked shattered. Apart from Sonia, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dixit and Punjab's Amarinder Singh, who is related to Natwar Singh, visited the family's residence.    
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