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Mother of two takes fatal leap

Block J of City Palace apartments from whose roof Reshmi Jha jumped to her death in Adityapur on Thursday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta

A 35-year-old woman, who her father conceded had a short fuse, jumped to her death from the roof of a eight-storey residential apartment in Adityapur, 2km from Jamshedpur, early on Thursday morning apparently after a tiff with her husband.

Reshmi Jha has left behind two sons - aged four and one - besides husband Mrityunjay Jha, a government employee who works in the labour department office in Seraikela.

Police inquest suggests Reshmi died of fatal head injuries around 6am, but also had multiple injuries on her hands, legs and other parts of her body.

Adityapur thana OC Vijay Singh, who inspected the spot and body, ruled out foul play. "The woman killed herself over a family dispute. She had fought with her husband last (Wednesday) evening. It is a suspected case of suicide," the officer said, adding that an autopsy would put the seal of confirmation.

Relatives said Reshmi took the extreme step while Mrityunjay was away to drop their elder son at a playschool in Adityapur.

The family lives in a rented flat on the third floor of Block B at City Palace, a residential complex in a densely populated neighbourhood. Reshmi, however, jumped from the roof of Block J, which is some 100 metres away and still largely unoccupied because it is nearing completion.

Bereaved father S.K. Mishra, who too lives in Adityapur and only a kilometre away, admitted that his "ill-tempered" daughter was capable of suicide. "She had been eccentric since childhood. She'd do anything in a fit of rage. I don't blame my son-in-law," Mishra, who works at an industrial unit, said.

"Last (Wednesday) evening, I had been to my daughter's house and found husband and wife quarrelling over something although I don't know what. My son-in-law tried to settle the dispute."

Mrityunjay was too shocked to speak to reporters.

Pavan Kumar, a resident of Block F, said he was feeding pigeons on the roof when he heard a scream. "I looked down from my block and found her in a puddle of blood. She died almost instantaneously. There was no time for hospital."

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