In a heartrending incident, five persons of a family purportedly committed suicide by jumping before a moving train near the Sarla railway junction in Sambalpur district late on Tuesday night.
The deceased were identified as Dharanidhar Panda, his wife Sangeeta and their daughters Aparajita, Ananya, a Plus Two student and Siddhi, a Class-VII student.
Dharanidhar, a resident of Buruda village in Bargarh district, was working as a music teacher at the Madanabati Public School here. The family was residing at Jagannath Colony in the town.
Though exact reason behind the family taking extreme step in life was not established, neighbours suspected abject poverty as reason. The family was residing in a rented house which belonged to Dharanidhar’s friend. They were unable to pay the house rent.
The five jumped in front of the Sambalpur-Jharsuguda DMU at around 8.30 pm on Tuesday. On being informed by the train driver at around 9 pm, Government Railway Police and Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel rushed to the spot and recovered the bodies.
“As per preliminary investigation, it seems to be a case of mass suicide. The bodies will be sent for post-mortem,” GRP ICC G Dung Dung.
Sambalpur MLA Raseswari Panigrahi visited the spot and termed the incident as unfortunate. A proper probe would be carried out to ascertain the truth, she added.