VELLORE: Mystery shrouded the death of a 11-year-old student, Harini, of the Government Girls Higher Secondary School, who allegedly committed suicide by immolating herself on the premises of the school in Pernambut, on Monday morning. The incident has sent a shock waves among the locals, teachers and students of the school. The education department declared a holiday for the school for the day and sent the students back home.
Harini, daughter of Kannabiran and Manjula, was studying in class VI. The girl was under the care of her grandmother Krishnaveni (65) and stepmother Chithra, who was pregnant. Kannabiran, a painter, had married Chithra after Manjula’s demise eight years ago.
“The girl came to school around 9 am. She kept her bags in her classroom and went to the bathroom in the school campus. None saw her carrying anything suspicious,” said a police official quoting the students and teachers. Within a few minutes, the other students heard Harini screaming for help and rushed to the bathroom.
She was found with burns and the students alerted the teachers, who rushed her to the GH at Gudiyattam in an auto. But, she succumbed to burns in the hospital. “The girl brought kerosene in a half litre soft drink bottle,” said the police.
The preliminary inquiry revealed that she had no problem in the school. “She was good in academics and wasn’t facing any problem at her house as well,” said a police officer. The police strongly suspect that she would have taken the extreme step unable to withstand the death of her 21-year-old cousin Lokeswari, who had committed suicide a week ago.
“The inquiry revealed that Lokeswari and Harini were very close. Lokeswari’s death might have disturbed Harini mentally and would have driven her to kill herself,” said the police adding Lokeswari ended her life due to love affair. However, the neighbours of Kannabiran alleged that Harini had ended her life due to harassment at the hands of her stepmother.
However, the police said, Chithra had gone to her mother’s house in Ambur a week ago. “We will launch a detailed inquiry to find out the cause for Harini’s suicide,” said the IO and Inspector of Pernambut Station Irudharaj.
The police department deployed a team of around 50 police personnel to maintain law and order. SP P Viajayakumar and officials from education department conducted an inquiry in the school.
The police handed over Harini’s body to her family after the post-mortem.