Sniffing heroin allegedly claimed the life of a 19-year-old student of Government College for Girls, Sector 11, late on Monday night.
The victim, Radhika alias Trisha, was a second-year student of geography (honours). Hailing from Ambala, she was staying at a paying guest accommodation in Sector 15 for the past one year.
According to police sources, the accused in the incident, Gagandeep, a resident of Sector 24, and his cousin Sourav of Amritsar were arrested late on Tuesday evening.
The police have registered a case of culpable homicide and other offences under sections 304, 328 and 34 of the IPC at the Sector 17 police station. The case was registered on the complaint of Sweety Sharma, a resident of Sector 21 and Radhika's friend.
Radhika was first taken to a private hospital before being wheeled in Government Multi-Specialty Hospital in Sector 16. As her condition was serious, she was referred to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) where she died.
DSP (central) Ashish Kapoor said, "Within hours of her allegedly sniffing heroin at Hotel Hillview in Sector 22, Radhika's condition started deteriorating following which she was rushed for medical help. She had gone to the hotel along with Sweety."
Elaborating about the incident, the DSP said around 5.30 pm on Monday Sweety called Gagandeep and Sourav for some heroin. They came and gave the drug to Sweety. After sniffing it Sweety asked for some more, in turn the boys asked her to get some other friend of her.
Kapoor said, "Sweety then called Radhika and they all reached Hotel Hillview. Earlier, in the evening, Radhika had consumed beer also. When Radhika reached the hotel the boys offered her some heroin, which she sniffed. At that time Sweety was away for a while with a friend. Radhika got an overdose and fell down. Radhika then called Sweety to inform her that she was not feeling well."
The police sources Sweety then took Radhika to a private doctor in Sector 19 who advised her to take the teenager to the GMSH.
Sweety then rushed Radhika to GMSH. She left the hospital and gave her contact number and address to the hospital authorities.
The doctors at GMSH referred Radhika to the PGIMER where she died during treatment.
The PGI officials said she was brought to the hospital by police as an unidentified patient on
Monday night. They said she was unconscious when she was brought here. She passed away soon after her arrival, even before the doctors could intervene. The post-mortem report was awaited.
This is the first incident in the city wherein a girl student died of drug overdose. The incident has also brought to the fore drug menace in the city and the existence of rave parties.
The police said they were in the process of identifying people who were in touch with the two youths caught in the incident.
The DSP said they were already investigating for the source of drug. Preliminary investigations carried out by the police indicate the use of heroin. The police have not ruled out that Radhika was earlier also supplied the drug.
Kin in shock
Information about Radhika's ill health was given to her parents on Tuesday morning. Soon after being informed about the incident, her father Narinder Kumar, a lab technician in Ambala, and her sister, who is a lecturer, rushed to the city.
Too shocked to react, they waited outside the PGIMER mortuary till about 5.30 pm for the body to be handed over after a post-mortem examination.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Radhika's sister said, " We were getting ready for work when we received information that Radhika was not well. After that we rushed to Chandigarh."
Who is Sweety Sharma
Sweety Sharma, 23, is putting up in a paying guest accommodation in Sector 21. Modelling assignments brought Sweety to Chandigarh from Mumbai about two months ago. Sweety was allegedly known to Gagandeep who works at a meat shop in Sector 24. Gagandeep had allegedly supplied the drug to Radhika.
Principal of GCG, Sector 11, Achla Dogra says, "I am not aware of any such incident, but it is very sad. Students who are living on their own in the city should communicate more often with their parents. It is required so the children do not misuse 'freedom'. In college also we hold several counselling sessions and keep guiding girls to live a morally high life. It is high time, we need to wake up to the menace of drugs and guide our children."
Her course teacher Jind Kaur says, "Radhika was a bright girl and used to score good marks. She also used to participate in co-circular activities and was quite regular in the college. She had an innocent face and was always smiling, I shall never forget her. Her death has come as a shock. It is very sad and we shall miss her."
Drug availability in city
The concept of rave parties which is catching up in the city is also being investigated by the police. Police says the porous border of Chandigarh which connects it with Punjab and Haryana helps in drug trafficking. Foreign involvement in drug trafficking was also highlighted a week ago with the arrest of a Nigerian with cocaine.
Five Class 12 school students were found in an inebriated state at Leisure Valley in Sector 10, due to alleged consumption of intoxicant in April.
Two women were arrested from outside a discotheque in Sector 17 with 650 gm of smack in July.
On December 13, a city resident who was waiting for his relative in Sector 26 saved a girl in an inebriated state from being lifted by boys by informing the police.