4 commit suicide fearing impending bribe-for-job scam
In a bizarre incident four members of a family were found dead in a hotel in Guwahati city on Wednesday last. According to initial investigations, four members of the family - father, mother, a relative and a child - committed suicide due to a supposed bribe-for-job feud. However, police said they were looking at every possible angle. They were lodged in Room No. 102 in the Sun City Hotel in Ganeshguri area where the bodies were found. The deceased have been identified as Prasanta Kumar (36), his wife Pompi Kalita (26), her cousin Anamika Kalita (21), and the couple’s four-year-old daughter.
“The family came to the hotel on Tuesday evening and booked the room. However, no one came out until late morning today. On suspicion, we peeped inside through the ventilator only to see that all the four were lying on one bed,” said the manager of the hotel, adding that thereafter, they informed the police.
On 21st September at about 12 noon, information was received by Dispur PS from the manager of Sun City Lodge located at Ganeshguri Chariali that the room number 102 of the lodge was found locked from the inside and dead bodies of four persons were seen inside the room. Immediately after receiving the information the police rushed to the spot and observed through the ventilator of the room that the dead bodies of one male, two females and a child were lying on the bed. The information was soon passed on to senior police officials who also rushed to the spot. The police then broke open the room in the presence of a magistrate and recovered the bodies
The deceased were identified thereafter and it soon came to light that one Prasanta Kumar of Sipajhar in Darrang District along with two women and a child had checked into the lodge at 7 pm of Tuesday on 20th September. They had entered the room at around 8 pm after having dinner in a restaurant outside the lodge. As the door of the lodge was locked from the inside it was suspected that the family had committed suicide.
After observing the crime scene, an FSL team was requisitioned along with CID and a team of Crime Branch in order to take follow-up actions. Two suicide notes were recovered from the room of the lodge. Of the two notes, one was addressed to the chief minister, health minister and DGP of Assam where the deceased, Prasanta, admitted that he committed suicide because of cheating and fraudulent acts of one Pulin Gogoi who is working in Assam Police. It needs mention that Gogoi had collected Rs. 77 lakhs from 62 persons by promising them government jobs through his connections.
The note also mentioned that it was due to mental pressure created by several others for which he had to take this extreme step of committing suicide with his family and sought exemplary punishment for the guilty persons. In another suicide note addressed to his parent, the deceased elaborated his family matters and begged for forgiveness for taking such an extreme step. Along with the suicide notes, three containers, a packet of which is suspected to be pesticides, two mobile phone and some edibles were also recovered from the room.
The Pulin Gogoi connection
According to sources, Prasanta Kumar was reportedly involved in a scam and took huge sums of money amounting to Rs. 77 lakhs from 62 people on the promise of giving them jobs. He was associated with one Pulin Gogoi and Prasanta worked as a mediator between him and the job aspirants. Pulin had asked Prashanta to assure the unemployed youths of providing jobs in the police and administrative departments. However, according to preliminary investigations it was clear that Prashanta was unaware of Pulin’s suspension from the police department. Pulin was suspended on 12th September, 2011 for his involvement in many illegal activities. It may be mentioned, that several cases have been registered against Pulin in Dispur, Dhakuakhana and Moran police stations.
In his suicide note which he wrote to the chief minister and other higher government officials, he mentioned that he and a police official from Nazira was involved in the matter and urged them to carry out an inquiry into the matter. Prasanta mentioned in his suicide note that he was forced to take such a step as he was under pressure.
After receiving news of the deaths, Prasanta's elder brother, Hemanta reached here this afternoon along with his relatives and friends. They too blamed Pulin for the tragedy. “Prasanta was under severe mental pressure for the past few days as the job aspirants from whom he had taken money had given him a deadline for tomorrow to refund the money,” Hemanta said.
Investigation so far
As informed by police officials, preliminary investigation indicates this is a case of suicide. However the cause of death can be confirmed after the post-mortem report is acquired. It was also mentioned that according to family members of Prasanta, he was in depression for the past few days as he had collected huge sums of money from various people over the past year assuring them of government jobs in different departments. However, Prasanta had failed to secure such jobs for those people and was under pressure to return their money.
“The cause of death seems to be consumption of poison but we are waiting for the post-mortem reports,” a police official said. “However, we will investigate the matter thoroughly. There might be more to it than what meets the eye. We will take stringent measures,” the official added.
Meanwhile, a case (Case number 2295/2016) has been registered and investigation on the same has started. Police officials mentioned that a Special Investigation Team has been put in place following which Gogoi, whose name surfaced in the suicide note of Prashanta Kumar, was arrested from Pothalibam of Moran late Thursday night by a team from Dibrugarh Police.