A 23-year-old man and his 17- year- old wife allegedly committed suicide by consuming poison while in a Ranchi police station on Monday night.
The couple, from Bhanjpur village in Jharkhand’s Godda district, around 350km north of Ranchi, had eloped on January 15 after their families protested against their relationship, said police.
“The boy was found lying in the lock-up and the girl in an adjacent detention room by a constable. They were rushed to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences,” investigating officer Vikas Chandra Srivastava said. “They were declared broughtdead by doctors.”
The girl’s family had lodged a kidnapping case at the Mahagama police station on January 17, based on which Argora police picked up t he couple on Monday from a slum and detained them.
Srivastava said the two were t o be handed over t o Godda police on Tuesday.
“We suspect that the couple took poison inside their rooms,” said Ranchi senior superintendent of police Kuldeep Dwivedi.
An official investigating the suicide, on condition of anonymity, said the two were held in separate but adjacent areas, and could speak to each other. Eyewitnesses too informed the investigators that the couple was without supervision, and had enough time to execute their allegedly planned suicide.
A woman police assistant subinspector and two constables were suspended for dereliction of duty and failure to frisk the couple. A police source said a magisterial i nquiry i nto t he suicide was likely.
In addition to the autopsy re port , police will study t he CCTV footage to determine how the couple was able to commit suicide in police presence.