A 50-year-old woman, who would often counsel people to help them out of suicidal tendencies, is believed to have killed herself in her Hiland Park flat.
Alokparna Mitra told police in her dying declaration that no one was responsible for her death. But her relatives and friends said she was a victim of regular domestic abuse.
On the evening of November 26, her neighbours found Mitra sitting on a sofa at her home with severe burn injuries. She was taken to a hospital on the EM Bypass where she died the next morning.
Her friends said she had studied psychology to take up counselling as a profession a few years after marriage. Later, she became a mental health professional and was at working on suicide prevention and stress management
Although officers of Survey Park police station, under whose jurisdiction the incident happened, said it was a case of suicide, her brother Arnab Majumdar has lodged a complaint against her husband, Shoumick Mitra, blaming him for her death. Based on his complaint, police have started a case of abetment to suicide against Shoumick, a resident of Isle Tower in Hiland Park.
Majumdar in his complaint has alleged that Shoumick had made contradictory statements when asked where he was when Mitra suffered burn injuries in the flat.
“Initially, he said he was working on his laptop in the bedroom and came out only on hearing her screams. The next day, he changed his statement and said he had gone downstairs to buy cigarettes,” Majumdar said. He added that his brother-in-law was unemployed. Metro could not verify the claim independently.
Contacted by Metro, Shoumick disconnected the call after the reporter introduced herself.
Majumdar in his complaint has also raised suspicion on the location of a half-filled kerosene bottle that was found in the kitchen. “If my sister had set herself on fire on the sofa near the exit gate, it would have been unusual for her to go back to keep the kerosene bottle in the kitchen,” he added.
Mitra, mother of an engineer son, was originally from Chandernagore and had lived across Delhi, Jaipur and Nigeria with her husband.
Her friends, who knew her from school, said she often confided in them about her allegedly abusive husband.
“She said her husband had turned into a habitual drinker and would beat her regularly. She had reported about the abuse to the local police station several times. Sometimes there were complaints from their housing society also. Every time the police would pick him, he would become more violent when he returned,” said one of her childhood friends Mohua Roy Chowdhury.
She added that once Mitra had left her husband’s home and shifted to another friend’s place. But she had to come back as she was finding it difficult to commute from her friend’s place to her workplace.
According to her family, she had spoken to her son a few hours before the incident.
“She even spoke to her son the same evening. Then all this happened,” said Mitra’s brother.
Roy Choudhury said the police should carry out a fair probe against Mitra’s husband.
Senior officers of the east division said they have started a case and the necessary probe was underway.