It is ironical as well as a strange quirk of fate. The woman IPS officer whom Kanchanbala Jha, the 21-year-old Sitamarhi girl who committed suicide on August 23, adored and considered as her ideal, is now probing the circumstances that led to her death.
The mathematics undergraduate of SRK Goenka College wanted to become an IPS officer herself, but ended her life after being continuously harassed by goons for over a year amid inexplicable inaction by the local police.
She used to keep a photograph of IG Shobha Ohatker in her book for inspiration. Ohatker is still fondly remembered as Hunterwali in Sitamarhi and Darbhanga districts, where she had served as an SP earlier. She is the one enquiring into the entire matter.
In the small, dusty town, friends of Kanchanbala speak of divine justice. “She was very disturbed during her last days, but would keep a brave face and even manage to laugh and smile. She used to tell us that the god would send somebody after her death, who would help her get justice. And see, the officer who was her role model has come," said one of them.
Meanwhile, Ohatker has wrapped up her four-day-long Sitamarhi visit. Sources in the local police said that she rigorously examined everything and all aspects connected with the case. Police officials of all ranks up to the SP and DIG level were asked questions. Those transferred out of the district were summoned and interrogated in camera.
Ohatker visited the city residence as well as the ancestral house of Kanchanbala, met her friends, parents, elder brothers and neighbours to gather all details about the incident. She also examined the suicide note minutely and matched it with the handwriting in the notebooks of the deceased girl.
Sitamarhi sources said that the IG was miffed at the gross dereliction of duty by some of the police officials and lost her cool several times during interrogation
after getting unsatisfactory replies. Axe is being expected to fall on a few officials for intentionally overlooking the complaints of the victim.
Sources in the state police headquarters in Patna say the top brass is preparing to take ‘quick and decisive action’ after Ohatker submits her enquiry report. The report is expected within a week. In the eventuality of any action against Sitamarhi policemen, the DGP is expected to brief chief minister Nitish Kumar before taking the necessary steps.