Suicide of Kurseong student: GTA issues alert, police to hold counselling sessions

23 Aug 2018

Following the suspected suicide of a student in a farm house on the outskirts of Kurseong town, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) vice chairman Anit Thapa on Thursday issued a statement appealing to people to remain alert and make the proper use of technology. Thapa is a resident of Kurseong.
“One must be careful about how to use technology. It is very helpful but at the same time dangerous. Schools and parents must remain alert that such incidents are not repeated,” he said in a Press statement expressing condolence to the family of deceased. The district police during the day, however, quashed as rumours apprehensions about the suicide of the student possibly being due to the “Momo” challenge online game and advised citizens not to get confused.
Still, the police are taking no chance and the police department have planned to educate and conduct awareness programmes in schools of the town about the dangers of playing online games. “Last year, we conducted several programmes in various schools during the Blue Whale games. We will hold similar counselling programmes with the help from the district administration and educational institutes,” Kurseong Additional Superintendent of Police Hari Krishna Pai said.
On Monday, Manish Sarki 18, a class XII student of St. Alphonsus school of Kurseong, was found hanging inside a pig sty located near St. Mary’s Hill, in the outer fringes of the town area. The unfortunate incident, however, caused a sensation and set the rumour mills spinning in Kurseong, linking the suicide of the student with the “Momo” challenge. Inside the pig sty, there were graffiti like “Illuminati” and “Doped” and the sketch of a person hanging and also a name of a girl. However, the police have not found any suicide notes near the body.
Darjeeling Superintendent of Police Akhilesh Chaturvedi admitted that it was a case of suicide but asserted that it had no links with the online game. “It is only rumours. The death is a case of suicide. There are no links with the ‘Momo’ challenge game,” he said. Last year the “Blue Whale” game caused a stir in the country with the death of several teenagers playing the online game.
Sarki’s body has been sent for autopsy and reports are awaited. The police have started a case and are investigating what had led to the unfortunate incident even though they have ruled out the ‘Momo’ challenge. “We are seriously investigating the matter. Suicide is suspected as the boy was found hanging and the post mortem report will confirm it. However we will have to see the circumstances as the boy was a student. We are inquiring with the school authorities, his parents and his circle of friendse,” said the Kurseong ASP. The mobile phone that Sarki was using could provide vital clues to the police as to his acquaintances, friends’ circle and gaming invitation from unknown numbers. “We have the boy’s mobile phone but will unlock it following proper procedures,” the ASP said. (EOIC)