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Presidency girl found dead in PG, cops suspect drug overdose

Her roommate, who was also found unconscious, is undergoing treatment.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
January 5, 2015 9:23:47 am
Presidency University, Drug overdose death, Kolkata student death, Student drug death, Kolkata police The house where the incident took place and (below) victim Sumantika Banerjee. (Source: IE photo by Partha Paul)

A post graduate student of Presidency University was found dead due to suspected drug overdose on Sunday in her room where she used to stay as a paying guest at Arpuli Lane under Muchipara Police Station. Her roommate, who was also found unconscious, is undergoing treatment.

Sumantika Banerjee, a first year MSc student hailing from Jalpaiguri used to share the accommodation with Subarna Lama, resident of Kurseong and an employee of a private company here.

When Subarna’s father was unable to contact her in the morning, he asked the PG owner Ruma Chowdhury about her whereabouts at around 12 pm. Chowdhury said she knocked at the door but found it to be shut from inside. Later police officials and some local people broke the door open and saw the duo on bed and foaming at the mouth. They were immediately taken to Medical College and Hospital where Sumantika was declared brought dead while Subarna was undergoing treatment.

Police sources said no suspicious item was found in the room. “After preliminary investigation we can say that since the room was shut from inside, involvement of external elements can be ruled out. The most probable possibilities are drug overdose or food poisoning,” said D P Singh, DC (Central). He said that things would be clear after the post-mortem report arrives.

Police added that their blood samples and home utensils have been sent for a forensic test.

Subarna, however, denied having consumed any narcotic substances, said a police official.  She told the police that around midnight, she had seen Sumantika working on her laptop. At 8 am, she had seen Sumantika sleeping. The next she woke up, Subarna found herself at the hospital.

Professor Bidyut Senapati of the Chemistry department, Presidency University said, “It is a sad incident. If media reports that she died due to drug overdose is true, it is alarming. If meritorious students fall to these ill habits, it is a serious degradation of society.”

Another senior official of the university said such abberations such as consuming narcotic substances occur mostly in the undergraduate level and not during post graduation.

Sumantika’s family members claimed she did not take drugs. “My daughter had been a meritorious student. She would never indulge in anything like that,” said Debashish Banerjee, Sumantika’s father.

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