A 50-year-old woman hung herself in one of the busiest spots in Kolkata on Friday afternoon even as hundreds of people including on-duty traffic police personnel waited and watched the suicide from start to end.
By the time the woman, identified as Soma Bakshi, was taken to the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital, she was long dead.
The incident occurred at around 4 pm at the CR Avenue near the Mahajati Sadan, a heritage auditorium initiated by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore one of whose most famous poems spoke of the desire to "live among the people" (Morite chahina ami e sundar bhubane/ manober majhe ami bachibare chai..)
Over the past few years, Kolkata has earned the unenviable reputation as a heartless city with more than one victim of accidents left to suffer on the roads while vehicles and pedestrians passed by them.
But Friday's incident would rank as rarest of the rare as the woman obviously took a few minutes to reach a pole by the roadside - she chose the lowest rung - tied one end of her dupatta to it, tied the other end to her neck and hung herself. But none reached out to save her.
"She fought with her husband over a trivial issue. No foul play could be sensed so far. Signs of suicide were present," said deputy commissioner, central division, DP Singh. The woman apparently had a tiff with her husband Dipankar Bakshi.
"She was drinking with her husband when they went into an argument. Soon after that, the husband left for the market while the wife went and hung herself on the road," said one of the eye-witnesses and a neighbour of Bakshi.
Police took her husband to Jorasanko police station for questioning but allowed him to go. Kolkata has witnessed different forms of suicide at public places like metro stations with people jumping in front of oncoming trains and even cases of an entire family, suffering from depression, climbing up high rises only to jump from them.