Accused of shop lifting Tripura girl commits suicide triggers protests

India

A tribal girl has committed suicide allegedly after she was harassed by the employees of a shopping mall in Barkathal area of Tripura. Before taking the extreme step, the girl was allegedly harassed at the mall on suspicion of shop-lifting. However, her mother denied any wrongdoing on the part of her daughter.

The suicide of the girl has triggered protests against the authorities of the mall. A student of Auxilium Girls higher secondary school, the girl was accused of shop-lifting and later allegedly harassed on May 24. She was later even expelled from her school over charges against her.

Speaking to news agency ANI, the girl’s mother alleged that employees of Big Bazaar outlet in the mall harassed her daughter, accusing her of stealing stuff from the store. “She rang me up and said ‘mother come with Rs 4000, release me and take me home. She said this from Big Bazaar,” said her mother.
“I asked for what they fined Rs 4000, she said that they have kept her in their custody as a thief. My daughter never did such thing, even if she needed five or ten rupees, without my permission she would never touch my purse. Even from my neighbours she would never take anything without my permission. This was the nature of my daughter and she never quarrelled with anyone,” she added.

According to reports, a police complaint of unnatural death has been registered, but no action has been taken in connection with the case till now.

The girl, along with three of her friends, had gone to the mall for shopping, but while coming out she was reportedly charged with stealing and made to wait even though no CCTV footage was produced to prove her guilt.

Unable to bear the public insult, the girl committed suicide by hanging herself at her residence. Her mother tearfully demanded justice for her daughter.

Meanwhile, politics has also begun on the issue, with youth wing of Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) and National Students Union of India (NSUI) protesting against the incident. The IPFT had called for a silent candle rally, but was denied permission by the police.

The NSUI, however, staged protest in front of Big Bazaar, demanding that the CCTV footage of the entire incident must be made public. They demanded that the culprits, who allegedly abetted the suicide of the girl, must be booked.

The mall and Auxilium school authorities have refused to comment on the incident.

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