DPS woman staffer found hanging in school; family alleges murder (Lead)
By Advitya Bahl and Sanjeev Pal
Noida, Aug 16 (IANS) A 36-year-old woman working as a housekeeping staff in the Noida Sector-30 branch of Delhi Public School was found hanging from a tree inside the school campus, police said on Friday.
Police said prima facie it appears to be a suicide.
Basanti Devi (36), a resident of Nithari village, was found hanging from the Neem tree by school guards on Thursday evening after her family members came to the school in search of her when she failed to return home. She had gone to the school in the morning to attend the Independence Day function.
On Friday, angry family members of the woman placed her body outside the school and demanded justice alleging that she was murdered and later hanged from the tree.
According to her husband Rakesh Srivastav, Devi had left for work around 7 a.m. due to Independence Day festivities at the school.
"She usually comes back home around 4.30 p.m. but when she didn't turn up till evening we all got worried. After I came to the school, the supervisor told me that she had left around 11 a.m. All the family members started looking for her but it was in vain. Then we contacted the police. Around 6 p.m., I got a call from the school supervisor who asked me to rush to the school," Rakesh told IANS.
Police said that she was found hanging from the tree next to the boundary wall with her dupatta.
"I am not able to forget the plight of my mother hanging from the tree. I tried to open the dupatta and bring her down but it was tied really tightly. I can't even think that my mother would end her life like this. I think someone murdered her and put her body there," the victim's 10-year-old son Anurag told IANS.
Police officials denied it was a case of murder as the autopsy reports have also pointed to hanging as the cause of death. There were no external injuries on the woman's body, they added even as the family alleged that the police did not probe the case fairly.
"We think that someone from the management allegedly murdered her. We will try and get her justice," said Geeta, a relative of the victim.
Police said that Devi had been working at the school for the past one year.
Police sources said that the CCTV footage of the school showed Devi roaming around on the second floor and then she went inside a room as there was no one present on the floor. She was also looking agitated.
The family members have not filed any complaint in this regard. The school management also did not respond to several calls from IANS.