Cassian Baliarsingh

Mystery shrouded the death of a Class IX girl student whose body was found hanging at Betaguda-based Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya under Paralakhemundi block in Gajapati district on Monday.

The deceased has been identified as Soudamini Raita.

According to sources, Soudamini and her younger sister were studying at the school. As usual, all the girl students went to bed after their food Sunday night.

However, they woke up to find Soudamini hanging and alerted the school authorities. She was rushed to Paralakhemundi District Headquarters Hospital (DHH). However, she was pronounced dead upon arrival.

The reason behind her death is yet to be ascertained. On being alerted, the cops seized her body and sent it for autopsy. Meanwhile, Soudamini’s family members suspected foul play as they believed she was too young to take such an extreme step.

“Everyone knows she was a very good student. She was a talented singer too. But, this shocking news sparks doubts that she was murdered. I’m unable to believe that she ended her life,” said the victim’s father David Raita.

“She had recently celebrated her birthday on February 5. We never observed any abnormal behavior in the girl. She was good at her studies and other activities. She also has no such past history of any abnormal behavior. I assure that we have not caused any problems for her at our school. She was a good student and why would any school do anything to her when she was such a bright student,” said Headmaster Pradip Kumar Panda.

When contacted, Ramakrushna Pati, SDPO Paralakhemundi said, “A Class IX student of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya was found dead under mysterious circumstances. She was declared dead at the local hospital. A probe is on and necessary action will be taken based on the autopsy report.”

(Reported by Adarsh Das, OTV)