Mystery shrouds the death of Sumantika Banerjee, a first-year student of Presidency University in her early-twenties, who was found unconscious in her room at a paying guest accommodation, along with her roommate Subarna Lama, an engineering degree-holder looking for a job, on Sunday.
The two were taken to a hospital where Banerjee was declared brought dead. The incident took place at Arpulli Dutta Lane under Muchipara police station.
“It appeared that the victim died from food poisoning. She had been living there for the past six months and had low blood pressure and suffered from fever for the last two days,” DP Singh, deputy commissioner of police (Central), said.
“According to information, they would bring food from outside too. Samples of it have been collected and sent for tests,” the DC added. The police have summoned Rama Choudhury, the owner of the house, and her husband to the local police station for interrogation.
“They were living as paying guests. On Sunday morning, when Banerjee’s family failed to get in touch with her, they rang the landlady’s phone. The landlady knocked on the door but no one opened it. Finally, in front of Lama’s guardian, the door was broken down and the two were found lying unconscious and foaming at the mouth,” an officer of Muchipara police station said.
Lama was admitted to the female medicine ward of Calcutta Medical College and Hospital. “Lama told us that she and her roommate ate egg curry and chapatis on Saturday night,” a police officer said.
The officer said that they got information that the duo would take painkiller tablets on a regular basis. The police have asked several medical shopowners if they sold sedatives to the two. The families of Banerjee and Lama denied that they took drugs.The police are yet to find sedatives or narcotics at the spot.
The vice-chancellor of Presidency University, Anuradha Lohia, said, “It’s a very sad incident, but unless I get a detailed report, it will not be proper for me to make any comments.”