On the eve of Raksha Bandhan, the celebration of the sacred sister-brother relationship, Hariana village near here has seen a case of suspected poisoning of two teenaged sisters of a 12-year-old boy. Ruby (16), daughter of Baldev Raj, was admitted to a private hospital before she was brought to the civil hospital in the wee hours. She died soon after.
Around 8 am, her younger sister Pooja (13) was also admitted to the civil hospital in a critical condition and died minutes later. While Baldev, who digs wells in the area, said his daughters had died of dehydration caused by vomiting, Dr Jaswinder Singh, who conducted the post-mortem examination, suspected poisoning. Dr Singh said the viscera had been sent for detailed examination.
The girls' father told HT that he and his wife were out of town when the girls "fell ill"; but later it came out that the parents themselves had brought the girls to the hospital. Sources revealed that the civil hospital doctors returned the body of Ruby without performing the post-mortem but when her sister too died, Ruby's body was recalled.
Hariana station house officer (SHO) Vikramjit Singh, meanwhile, said the police did not find any poisonous substance from the house. He said that girls' parents were in Hoshiarpur civil hospital when they were informed about the critical condition of their younger daughter: "Leaving the body of Ruby at home, they rushed their younger daughter to the hospital." He said the doctors informed the police around 11 am.
Senior superintendent of police (SP) Balkar Singh Sidhu said the matter was being investigated and SP (detective) Jagmohan Singh has been asked to file a report by Thursday evening. Neighbours expressed shock over the incident and said they knew only as much as the family told them. The family is left with a 12-year-old son. Both girls were students of Mai Bhagwati Senior Secondary School in Hariana.