A 14-year-old girl allegedly committed suicide at the residence of state water resources ministerSoumen Mahapatra on Tuesday. The girl, identified by cops as Mithu, was allegedly employed as a maid by the Mahapatra family.
According to sources, she was found hanging in a room of the house at Surananka village in Panskura Municipality’s Ward 10 around 2pm. While Mahapatra was on tour, his wife, son and daughter were at home, sources said. Some of them said that Mithu had been spotted at the local market in the morning, accompanying the minister’s daughter, who is about the same age. Mahapatra’s son is a first-year student at the Haldia Medical College.
The incident was shrouded in mystery with officers from the Panskura police station reaching the house in plainclothes around 2.30pm and taking away the body. Locals weren’t allowed to get close to the house by the security personnel posted around the minister’s residence. While officers refused to give any official comment, sources confirmed that the body has been sent to the Tamluk sub-division hospital for autopsy. According to an officer, an inquiry has been started and details will become clear once the autopsy report is available.
While foul play can’t be ruled out, questions are also being raised as to why a public representative and a minister appointed a minor as a maid servant, in spite of a law against it. The girl apparently hailed from Bhagabanpur in East Midnapore.
“I can’t say anything about the incident as I was on leave on Tuesday,” said Madan Mohan Roy, officer-in-charge of the Panskura police station. East Midnapore SP Sukesh Jain refused to attend calls. An effort was made to get in touch with the minister. His driver took the call and informed that Mahapatra was busy with some work in Nadia and couldn’t take calls.