Railway peon hangs self

Maligaon blast trauma may have prompted rail worker to commit suicide
Guwahati, Jan 11 : The death of railway employee Dhiren Kumar Kakoty in last evening’s blast was followed by a suicide at the Northeast Frontier Railway headquarters at Maligaon.
There was no suicide note, but those who knew Manoj Prashad Rai, 25, a bungalow peon at the residence of railway doctor Anjan Saikia, feel a visit to the blast site could have traumatised him into taking his own life.
Manoj returned to the outhouse — where he used to stay — around 8pm yesterday. Half an hour later he was found hanging by Saikia’s young sons, Ronnie, 8 and Bonnie, 9.
“I cannot say if Manoj committed suicide because of the shock he went through after visiting the blast site. But he was a very caring and gentle soul who always avoided violence. He did not watch TV channels when there were news of blasts and killings,” Saikia said.
He said that Rai hanged himself with a dog’s leash from the ceiling of the outhouse. The Saikias have three pet dogs.
The youngest of six siblings, Manoj was recently appointed as a regular railway employee.
“His father, Phulen Prashad Rai, was a gardener at my residence and Manoj had lived with me since childhood,” Saikia said.
Yesterday, Manoj drove Saikia’s wife from Railway Officers’ Club to the bungalow when the blast took place about 200 metres from the doctor’s official residence.
“He parked the car in the garage and then went to the blast site. He returned an hour- and-a-half later and immediately went to his room,” Saikia said.
Manoj was popular with the teachers and the students of Skylark Public School owned by the Saikias in Maligaon.
Manoj’s elder brother, Gopal, said he was happy with his job.
A police officer at Jalukbari said preliminary investigations had revealed that it was a case of suicide. “We have registered a case of unnatural death. Investigations are on,” he added.