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Mystery deepens over two school girls hanging deaths in Takarjala
Mystery deepens over two school girls hanging deaths in Takarjala

AGARTALA, September 15 (TIWN): Three days after two girls (name changed to hide identity) Risha Debbarma and Raima Debbarma were found hanging from a tree in the Ganya Mara gram sabha, the Takarjala Police is yet to make any arrests. On Sunday, the parents of the two girls, along with 30 villagers, demanded that the culprits should be found without delay.In an incident that reminds one of the Badaun sisters who were found hanging in the plains of UP, Risha Debbarma and Raima Debbarma were found hanging deep in a forest, their bodies facing each other. Both girls were students of class 10 at a nearby boarding school, about 27 km from Agartala. The police is yet to confirm if it is a case of suicide or rape. What they could indeed confirm is that the nooses were made by ripping the t-shirt that one of the girls was wearing and tying the strips together to form two small ropes.

The police is probing into the angle of sexual assault but has refused to confirm or deny till the postmortem reports are out.

Biswa Lakkhi, mother of Risha and Biswa Rani, mother of Raima are unwilling to believe the two girls would ever commit suicide. "My daughter was a happy and healthy girl, full of life. Why would she commit suicide?" says Biswa Lakkhi who had last seen her daughter about a fortnight before when Risha came to visit.

The police gives a possible explanation saying that two days before the deaths, the girls were reprimanded by the hostel warden for keeping mobile phones against the rules. "This may have driven the girls to take the extreme step," says a police source. Yet, why two teenage girls would spend the day shopping and meeting friends before killing themselves still goes unanswered.

The only witness in the case is Laisa Debbarma, the victims' classmate who had accompanied them on what would turn out to be their last day alive.

On Thursday the two victims along with Laisa decided to have a "day out" and crept out of the hostel at noon without informing the authorities. They took a bus to Bishramganj, one of the biggest markets of Tripura where Risha bought a perfume. They then took a shared cab to  Duharam, a place near Raima's village where they were joined by two boys, who, according to Laisa were the other two's boyfriends. She herself had never seen them before.

The group of five walked a few kilometres towards Raima's village, a small hamlet of mud and tin-roofed houses surrounded by acres and acres of rubber plantations. The plains that intercept them are green with paddy. It was a full moon night and the five boys and girls decided to spend the night there.

 The next morning, the group eased out of the shadows and the boys bade them goodbye as they boarded their bicycles. The three girls headed towards the main road when Risha and Raima told Laisa that they needed to relieve themselves. It was dawn and rubber plantation workers had already started filtering in, leaving no privacy. Risha and Raima decided to walk to the forest on the borders of the farm to avoid any prying eyes. Laisa was asked to wait for them at the edge of the plantation but half an hour later when the girls had still not returned, she went inside to look for them. Unable to trace the girls she walked to the main road and boarded a bus to her hostel where anxious parents were waiting for them to return. After they probed her, she took them back to the plantation where the families discovered the bodies after combing the forest.

Parents and locals have a lot of questions about the deaths that no one seems to have an answer to. Firstly, if it was suicide, why would the girls not carry a rope with them? Why would a 16 years old girl strip to her inners before hanging herself? What was a reason behind the suicide/murder?

Rajani Debbarma, father of Risha, claims that their were injury marks on the body of one of the girls. "She had a blow to her head and there were bruises on her arm. Where did they come from?" he asserts.

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