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Three Students, Including Reality Show Child Star, Commit Suicide In Mumbai

PTI 04 Jan 2010, 17:27:48 PM IST

Three students, including a TV dance reality show star, committed suicide by hanging themselves in Mumbai in last 48 hours in three separate incidents, police said.

A seventh standard student Shushant Patil of Sharada Ashram School at Dadar in central Mumbai was on Monday found hanging in the school toilet, police said.

Shushant arrived at school at 7 am but was not present in the classroom when the teacher was taking attendance, Senior Inspector Ashok Unde of Dadar police station said.

When checked, he was found hanging in the toilet, he said, adding, "preliminary probe suggests that he was worried since he had failed in four subjects in the semester examination. This might have forced him to end his life."

In the second incident, sixth standard student Neha Sawant was found hanging by a dupatta to a ceiling rod inside her Sai Darshan Apartment's house, Dombivli, in neighbouring Thane district on Saturday morning, police said.

The dancer Neha had participated in three TV dance reality shows, including Boogie Woogie. She was also a student of a dance academy, where she excelled in various forms of dances, they said.

Although the actual reason for the suicide is not yet known, police suspect that the girl might have taken this step after her family took her out of the academy, as they wanted her to concentrate on her studies.

On Saturday noon, residents of Sai Darshan Apartment in Dombivli east called up Manpada police to inform them that Std VI student Neha Sawant had been found hanging by a dupatta inside her house.

“The door was locked from inside, so there is no question of foul play. It is indeed a case of suicide. We are still investigating as to why she took the drastic step. We haven't found any suicide note from the spot yet,” said Subhash Divekar, senior inspector of Manpada Police Station.

According to police, Neha's mother works as a teacher while her father works with a private firm in Mumbai. Both had left for work and Neha's younger sister had just returned from morning school.

“She could not open the door so she asked the neighbours to help. As soon as the neighbours opened the door they saw her hanging from the curtain rod in the living room. She was rushed to a private hospital where she was declared dead,” said Assistant Inspector V K Kambli, who is investigating the case.

‘We stopped her from taking part in dance shows'

Neha's family revealed she was an “amazing dancer” who participated in three TV dance reality shows, including Boogie Woogie. She was also a student of a dance academy, where she excelled in western and folk dances. Most of Neha's performances were part of the academy's group shows.

This was revealed by Neha's father Narendra Sawant.

“She was very popular in the neighbourhood for her performances. People loved her moves. However, a year ago we realised that her studies were getting affected due to the contests and performances. So we pulled her out of the academy and stopped her from taking part in competitions.”

However, Neha was apparently very keen on continuing with her classes and her shows. This was confirmed by her neighbours and her dance instructor Shyam Patil.

“The child was an extremely good dancer. In fact, unlike most kids her age, she would dance with the older kids and do a great job of it. However, her family pulled her out of the classes a few months ago as they wanted her to concentrate on studies,” said Patil.

He added that he had tried convincing her parents to change their mind. He even offered to teach her for free as she was incredibly talented, but they refused. “It was after a lot of convincing that they would allow her to take part in the shows,” added Patil.

Neha's inconsolable father Narendra said that in the past few days she had showed no signs of depression.

“I had left for work as usual on Saturday and she even had breakfast with me. She did not say anything or do anything to suggest she would kill herself,” he said.

A student of Pandurang Vidyalaya, Neha was good at academics. Her neighbours speak of her as an extrovert and bubbly child who mingled with everybody. “All of us knew her as someone who loved to dance and show off her skills,” said a neighbour.

 In a similar incident allegedly depressed for having failed in exams, an 18-year-old medical student ended her life by hanging self at her residence in suburban Powai, police said.

Bhajanpreet Bhuler, the physiotherapy course student of D Y Patil Medical college in Navi Mumbai, was found hanging with a nylon rope to ceiling rod at her Sai co-operative housing society on Saturday morning, Ashok Jadhav, Senior Inspector of Powai police station said.

"She had failed in a few subjects in the semester examination. She seemed upset since then. Her elder brother is in the last year engineering course and her sister is doing a pilot course in New Zealand," he said.

But Bhajanpreet could not meet family's expectations, he said, adding that this might have forced her to commit suicide.

In all the three cases, police has not found any suicide note. PTI