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By A Newsman

Howrah, 21 October: A young woman has committed suicide in Howrah after her 10-month old son, who was suffering from tuberculosis, died as he could not be taken to hospital due to late running of a train the family was travelling in.

The woman has been identified as Puja Singh (27), a native of Banbihari Bose Road at Howrah. She was married to a man at Ballia in Uttar Pradesh seven years ago.

CASE HISTORY

Puja gave birth to a pair of twin sons about 10 months ago; prior to this she had mothered two sons who are now aged around five and four years, respectively.

The twin sons were ill since birth and one of them passed away within 20 days of being born; the other was suffering from tuberculosis. Puja and her husband were consulting doctors at Ballia for his treatment, but the child was not recovering.

HOW IT HAPPENED?

This made Puja and her father-in-law to set out for Kolkata as the treatment facilities are better here and also her parents’ house is located in Howrah. They had boarded the 12334 Vibhuti Express on Thursday (19 October) and were scheduled to reach Howrah at 7.30 am yesterday (20 October).

But the train was running several hours late. In the meantime, the condition of Puja’s son was deteriorating fast in the train, but there was no way to avail emergency treatment. By the time the train reached Howrah around 1 pm yesterday, that is, by nearly six hours delay, the child had fallen unconscious.

Puja and her family took him to the Howrah District Hospital straight from Howrah station and from there to the charitable Shree Jain Hospital and Research Centre at Howrah’s Shibpur. There the child was declared dead on arrival.

According to her family members, since then Puja had fallen silent like a stone and she did not interact with anyone throughout last evening. Today morning she was found to be missing and after a prolonged search, her body was found in the afternoon floating in the Hooghly at Shibpur.

WHAT THE FAMILY SAYS?

Her family says that Puja could not withstand the shock of the death of her son and thus ended her life by jumping into the river. They maintain that had the train arrived on time, there was a chance that the child could have survived.

Police too believe that Puja has committed suicide, but have registered a case of unnatural death for now. Her body has been sent for post-mortem.

RAILWAYS’ RESPONSE

Asked to comment on the allegation that the train delay was responsible for the death of the child, a senior official of Eastern Railway, not willing to be named, said that the connection was too far-fetched.

“As it is clear from the case history, the child was suffering from TB since birth and did not receive proper treatment all these months. As the baby fell unwell in train, the family could have alerted the train staff and thus emergency treatment could have been arranged at any hospital before reaching Howrah,” he said.

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