Five Teenage Girls Commit Suicide in West Bengal village

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Five Teenage Girls Commit Suicide in West Bengal
Mystery shrouds group suicide by five girls in Bengal village

An incident of alleged group-suicide has been reported from a Paschim (West) Medinipur village, Oro, bordering Jharkhand. Six girls, between 13 and 17 years of age, attempted suicide on Monday, and five of them passed away by Tuesday morning. The lone survivor is battling for life. While the police said that all the teenagers committed suicide owing to respective family’s resistance to their relationships, the locals are unsure about the actual causes.

The girls were identified has Baby Nayak (13), Saraswati Nayak (14), Buru Nayak (14), Palang Nayak (16) and Namita Nayak (17). The teenager who survived is Puja Nayak (14). All the girls belong to Scheduled Caste (SC) Bhuniya community, who are one of the poorest communities of Bengal. There have been no arrests in the case so far.

A resident of the district who visited the village, after the incident, told The Hindu that there is “some thing” which all the parties are trying to hide. “The police as well as the families are not telling us some thing, which we are yet to figure out,” the person said. Some of the local journalists corroborated his views.

Various contradictory versions of the incident have emerged. The district police claimed that the girls committed suicide after being snubbed by family members for having affairs. “According to the statement given to us by Puja, five of them had affairs with men from neighbouring villages. Last week their family members spotted them with these guys and scolded them. So they decided to commit suicide,” Superintendent of Police of Paschim Medinipur, Bharati Ghosh told said on Tuesday. Ms. Ghosh also said that with the exception of one who was from Oro village itself, the four other men belonged to the neighbouring villages of Telabani, Muraltagra, and Jagunathpur. However, the locals differed.

“There was hardly any resistance to their relationships by their families and thus it is difficult to accept that they all consumed poison in a group for resistance to their affairs,” said Rosoraj Soren, a resident of the neighbouring village. Mr Soren accepts that the deaths are “mysterious” in nature.

A couple of residents of the district said it is “unbelievable” that six girls, in their early teens, would attempt en masse suicide as the marriage of one of them was fixed against her will. “The incident is unusual and requires more investigation,” a journalist who visited the area said.