Tribal outfits seek proper probe into Shanti Tigga’s death

JALPAIGURI: A day after India’s first woman jawan Shanti Tigga committed suicide at a railway hospital, tribal outfits – Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parshad and John Barla faction – called a 12-hour bandh in Dooars on Wednesday, demanding proper probe into the death.

Sources said that the bandh was quite successful with no train movement between Alipurduar Junction and New Jalpaiguri railway stations. The roads were also empty but work in the tea gardens was not affected.

Tigga, who was admitted to Alipurduar railway hospital since last Friday, hanged herself in the bathroom on Tuesday afternoon. The jawan’s 17-year-old son Nelson raised an alarm when his mother did not respond to his calls. Guards then broke open the bathroom door to find Tigga hanging from the geyser point with a gamchha.

On Wednesday, activists of the tribal outfits and Tigga’s family members refused to allow the doctors to continue with her post-mortem. They demanded that the North Bengal IGP and the Jalpaiguri DM be present during the autopsy. It was after several rounds of meetings with the district administration and police officials that the jawan’s relatives finally agreed to the post-mortem around afternoon.

However, they are not ready to accept that Tigga committed suicide and alleged that she was murdered. Police rubbished the claim. “Shanti’s son Nelson was present in the cabin when the incident happened. It is a clear case of suicide,” said a senior police official.

It is being alleged that Tigga took money from some people and promised them jobs in the railways. Police suspect that this might have been a reason behind the suicide.

Joy Prakash Tigga, the brother of the victim, on the other hand, blamed the railways and the police department for her death.

“The day she was kidnapped, she was made to perform her duty at Chalsa station for more than 36 hours. Had she been released from work on time, she would not have been kidnapped. Moreover, police failed to crack the case that led to tension and pressure building up on my sister,” he said.