A nine-year-old boy in West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district has allegedly committed suicide, frustrated by his inability to qualify for a television dance show.
Sandip Mondol, a class 5 student of the city, was found hanging from the ceiling of his house in Kasba area by his father Debkumar Mondal on Friday evening, the police said on Saturday.
He was alone at home at the time of the incident. His father, an electrician, and mother Swapna Mondal, a domestic help, had gone out to work. Sandip’s elder brother was also away, visiting their uncle in Garia.
Debkumar found Sandip’s body when he returned around 7 pm, the police said. Initial investigation showed the boy had committed suicide.
“We are, however, waiting for the postmortem examination report, after which we would be able to come to a conclusion,” said Murlidhar, additional superintendent of police (industrial), South 24 Parganas.
Neighbours said Sandip used to be an active boy, but he had started keeping to himself after failing to enter a dance show on a Bengali entertainment channel.
“He used to talk less and even avoid people. The failure had affected him so much that his performance at a recent stage show at Basirhat in North 24 Parganas was below par,” said Shyco Manna, secretary of a local club.
Sandip was due to perform at a stage show near Garia on Friday evening. Neighbours said they had seen him practising alone at a local park in the afternoon.
The television was switched on in the room where Sandip was found dead. The police said a reality show being aired in the evening may have been the immediate trigger for the suicide.
This is not the first time when a reality television show has had a debilitating effect on a child in West Bengal. In June 2008, 16-year-old Shinjini Sengupta suffered paralysis after she was rebuked by the judges of a dance show on a Bengali TV channel.