Cops zero in on gas leak

Cops zero in on gas leak

TNN | Jan 7, 2015, 12.28 AM IST

KOLKATA: Two days after Presidency University postgraduate student Sumantika Bandyopadhyay’s mysterious death, the investigators have found a ray of hope provided by the forensic experts to ascertain the cause of her death.

Though the exact reason is still unknown, both the cops and Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) members are sure of a gas leak that’s taking place inside the small paying guest accommodation of Sumantika.

According to special additional CP (crime) Pallab Kanti Ghosh, the forensic team has identified the source of gas that had filled the room for the past three days. “There is a gas pipeline running 1.5 feet below the room and there has been a breach at one point on the line,” he said. Sources said Greater Calcutta Gas Supply — that has laid this line and maintains it — has been summoned. But, Ghosh said the odour of the gas found in Sumantika’s room is different from the odour of the gas that the agency supplies.

The forensic team that went to the spot on Monday, re-visited the site on Tuesday and collected samples of air and gas from the room, house and neighbourhood. They suspect the gas to be some form of nitrate or chloride. “They will test the samples at their laboratory and send us their opinion. The medical college doctors have been asked to go through Sumantika’s prescriptions,” said an officer. The probe has already ruled out chances of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Police are also hoping that the food samples collected from Lama’s stomach will help experts ascertain if there was any form of poisoning. Investigators said the success of the probe depends on Lama’s statement. She can give her official statement once she recovers completely.

Preliminary report says Sumantika lost her life between 3am and 3.30am on Sunday. She was on her laptop even after complaining of dizziness to her room mate. Lama claimed she woke up around 2 am and found Sumantika wide awake. She also said Sumantika used to get up around 8 in the morning. On that morning, when Lama woke up, she found Sumantika sleeping and decided to go back to sleep. Lama claimed she never saw froth on Sumantika’s lips.

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