ROURKELA: Two women hockey players, one of them from Sundargarh district, were found hanging from a tree under mysterious circumstances in a forest adjacent Simdega district of Jharkhand.
The bodies were hanging from a single rope tied to a tree inside Arani forest under Simdega police limits in Jharkhand, about 85 km from here. Jharkhand police said prima facie it appeared to be a case of suicide, but no clear motive could be established.
The players are Sunandini Bage (23) of Lachhra village in Gurundia block of Sundargarh and Shraddha Salem Soreng (14) of Bhukumunda village in Simdega. Investigation revealed that Sunandini was privately taking hockey training from an amateur coach Minakshi Purty and staying with her at Hamirpur of Rourkela. Shraddha was a Class IX student of St Merry School at Birmitrapur in Sundargarh. They developed closeness due to hockey.
Shraddha's father Rajesh Soreng said his daughter on Saturday left for school in an auto-rickshaw but did not return. Sunandini was frequently visiting Shraddha and both used to go out for playing hockey, he said, adding that he has no clue what happened to them and under what circumstances they hanged themselves.
The incident came to light when some villagers from Simdega spotted the bodies and informed police.
Simdega SDPO Raj Kishore said prima facie it appeared to be a case of suicide and post-mortem report is awaited to ascertain the exact cause of their death. He said police are also looking at other angles such as foul play and investigation is on.
Jharkhand police also recovered Sharaddha's schoolbag having another piece of rope, a knife and a lighter from the spot. Police said they found no struggle mark at the spot or any external injury on the bodies.