Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has ordered state police to conduct an “expeditious investigation” after two girls from a joint family belonging to an ethnic community were found dead Friday in Kokrajhar district.
The family of the girls, who were aged 14 and 16 and found hanging from a tree, has alleged that they were murdered. Police are “prima facie” probing a case of suicide but have detained five persons for questioning.
Police said the girls belonged to the Rabha community. The 14-year-old was the younger sister of the 16-year-old’s father, they said.
Sarma, who visited the girls’ family Sunday, posted on Twitter: “To reassure family of 2 minor girls, whose bodies were found hanging from a tree in mysterious condition on Friday, I met them today to console & share their pain. Assam Govt stands firmly by them.”
He also wrote: “I have instructed @assampolice to do an expeditious investigation to unearth the cause of death. The Government will take stringent action, if there is any foul play. If the victims were forced to do self harm, Police shall find the reasons for the same.”
According to local residents, the family is engaged in agriculture and financially weak. The family has told police that there was no immediate reason known for the two young women to die by suicide.
Kokrajhar district falls in the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR). Sarma was accompanied by Bodoland Territorial Council Chief Pramod Boro and Kokrajhar East MLA Lawrence Islary.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Islary said: “The family has raised various questions about the deaths — like why would the duo die by suicide when there is no known problem in the family. There are suspicions which need to be investigated and the police is doing that.”
Thube Prateek Vijay Kumar, SP of Kokrajhar, told The Indian Express: “Prima facie it appears to be a case of suicide, but we are investigating all aspects. If it was a suicide, we will find the cause for the same and if it was a murder, we will nab the perpetrators soon.” The post-mortem has been completed and the result is awaited, he said.