Cops start digging to locate gas pipe breach

Cops start digging to locate gas pipe breach

TNN | Jan 8, 2015, 12.09 AM IST

KOLKATA: Three days after the mysterious death of Presidency University post-graduate student Sumantika Bandyopadhyay, police and forensic experts decided to dig the Arpuli Lane neighbourhood with help from the Greater Kolkata Gas Supply agency to trace the exact source of leakage of the carbon gas supplied by the agency and used widely in the neighbourhood for cooking. Supply has thus been cut off for now and residents will have to depend on an alternate source for cooking.

According to Lalbazar sources, the room occupied by Sumantika has been locked up yet again. “If we still find a strong smell of the gas in the room just like we did in the last three days, we will know that this is not the same gas as supplied by the agency. By that time, we hope to get a preliminary report on the nature of the gas present in the room,” said a senior police officer.

Not that locals are complaining. “Sumantika was a brilliant student. Her death is unacceptable. We want to know how she lost her life and whether we too are at risk. Her death might even lead to some necessary changes. We cannot let such an incident repeat itself here again, especially since several other students live here,” said Saroj Majumdar, who stays about three blocks away.

Muchipara police and the homicide squad of the detective department said it will be only after the analysis of Sumantika’s viscera report that the final reason of death can be ascertained. “However, we had wanted more pro-activeness from the suppliers who kept insisting that the gas they supply has a different odour than the one present in Sumantika’s room,” said an officer. The supply agency though denied charges and said they are co-operating with the police at every step.

According to the agency, any leak in their line will mean a smell of sulphur and presence of a carbon byproduct. However, as their gas is “comparatively lighter” than normal LPG, there is little chance of their gas causing damage, they claimed. “We have inspected the line twice and have failed to detect any leakages,” claimed one of them.

Police said they have finished taking the statement of the other student, Subarna Lama. “Lama was to be released on Wednesday but she had fever and will be kept under observation for the next couple of days. Her statement though has not helped us much so far,” claimed a source.

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