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College girl kills self under police custody in Darrang
 MANGALDAI, Sept 14 - The suicide of Eliza Begum (20) – a local girl of Dalgaon area of Darrang district and a degree student in the campus of the Dhula Regional Physically Handicapped Development Association (DRPHDA) while under police custody, has rocked the area.

 The deceased was a survivor of violence at the residence of one Safiqul Islam of village Aminpara under Rowta police station in Udalguri district where she had gone to raise a protest against the proposed marriage (with another girl) of Safiqul Islam whom the victim claimed to be her fiance. The Rowta Police rescued the girl from there and then handed her over to Dalgaon Police. The latter after receiving her handed her over to the authority of DRPHDA for night shelter. The next morning she was found hanging in the bathroom.

“The police brought the girl to our centre on Thursday midnight for shelter. Our staff received her and she was given shelter in the room for lady cooks. However, in the morning when the staff was busy, the girl went to take a bath and was later found hanging there”, said Rajesh Deka, secretary of the management committee of DRPDDS. “We are officially running a home for the mentally retarded, a destitute home and a residential pre-school where we have altogether 75 inmates. But the practice of giving night shelter to women brought in by police is going on since the last 20 years”, Deka added.

The Officer in Charge of Dalgaon Police Station Inspector Dilip Mili said, “Rowta Police handed over the girl to us and since there is no woman cell here, we kept her at the Dhula shelter home which we are using as night shelter of such women since I had joined the police station.” On the other hand, the District Social Welfare Officer, Madhurima Bora said, “The Dhula Centre is not designated to offer shelter for women who are victims of domestic violence or other violence. ‘Sakhi one stop centre’ can give shelter to victims of domestic violence. However in this case, the girl who is not a victim of domestic violence should have been shifted to the State Home at Jalukbari.”

The death of this young girl who was reportedly under severe trauma and needed necessary mental and medical support, has exposed the lack of holistic approach on the part of the people at the helm of affairs for properly dealing with such delicate issues where the Supreme Court is stated to be very sensitive. After the death of the girl, the police arrested Safiqul Islam and remanded him to judicial custody on Saturday. Meanwhile, several local public organisations of Dalgaon have submitted memoranda to the SP, Darrang demanding a probe into the incident.

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