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Haryana Minister booked after suicide by former airline staffer

August 05, 2012 02:59 pm | Updated July 01, 2016 01:05 pm IST - New Delhi

A Haryana Minister has been booked for allegedly driving a young woman, a former employee of an airline company owned by him, to commit suicide in her house at Ashok Vihar here on Saturday.

In her suicide note, Geetika Sharma, the former flight attendant with the now defunct MDLR Airlines has held the Minister, Gopal Kanda, and one of his associates responsible for her death, accusing them of having ruined her life and harassing her family members.

The incident came to light on Sunday when Dinesh Sharma, father of 23-year-old Geetika, knocked at her room to check on her as she had not come out since morning. The door of her room was locked from inside. Suspecting that something was amiss, Mr. Sharma peeped in through a window and found his daughter hanging from the ceiling fan.

Geetika’s father raised an alarm; the family members broke open the window and entered the room before they called up the police at 9-20 a.m. She was rushed to Babu Jagjivan Ram Hospital where she was declared dead on arrival.

“We have found a two-page suicide note from her room, on the basis of which we have registered a case of abetment to suicide against Gopal Kanda, Haryana Minister of State for Home, and his associate Aruna Chadha,” said a police officer. Mr. Kanda was not available for comment.

Enquiries revealed that Geetika had joined MDLR Airlines as a flight attendant and worked there till the airline stopped operations in 2009. She then joined an international airline in Dubai and had been undergoing training when the company received a letter allegedly casting aspersions on her character. She was forced to leave the job and come back to India.

Geetika again joined MDLR in 2011, this time as a director in one of its subsidiaries. However, she left the company about one-and-a-half months ago and was pursuing her post-graduation in management from a Delhi-based institute.

In her suicide note addressed to her family, Geetika purportedly held Mr. Kanda and Ms. Chadha responsible for her having taken the extreme step. Narrating her woes, she accused the two of having breached her trust on several occasions and harassed her family members.

Although in her alleged note, Geetika did not mention why she was being harassed, her cousin Gaurav said: “Ever since she quit her job with the MDLR subsidiary, a lot of pressure was being put on her to join back. Both Mr. Kanda and Ms. Chadha threatened her that if she failed to do so, they would not allow her to work anywhere else either.”

Describing Geetika as a very cheerful and friendly person, a neighbour revealed that Mr. Kanda often visited her residence.

The purpose of those visits is not yet clear.

While Geetika had been living with her parents, Dinesh Sharma and Anuradha, her brother is based in Mumbai. “We have seized her computer and other necessary articles from the spot. Her mobile phone records are being scrutinised for clues. We will also contact her former employers and record statements of her family members to gather evidence, following which the persons accused in the case will also be examined,” said the officer.

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