By Dharmendra Joshi
Shimla, August 06: The number of suicides reported in Himachal Pradesh in the first three months of coronavirus-induced lockdown was twice those recorded in the previous three months, a senior police official said, expressing concern over the figures.
According to the data provided by the state police, 40 suicides were reported in January, 45 in February and 32 in March. In April, 47 people committed suicide, 89 in May, 112 in June and 101 in July.
So, a total of 117 suicides were recorded from January to March and 248 from April to June.
The lockdown in the hill state was imposed on March 24.
Director General of Police (DGP) Sanjay Kundu said, "The number of suicides has increased during the lockdown and it is an issue of concern."
Kundu, who assumed charge as DGP on May 30, said that in most of the cases, the exact cause of suicide is not known.
More number of housewives and labourers committed suicide due to family and job-related problems, respectively, while students who did not perform up to their expectations in exams and elderly people suffering from diseases were among the smaller group which committed suicide, he said.
The DGP said a 13-year-girl from Chamba who hanged herself to death after her matriculation result was the youngest person to commit suicide.
Generally, more people belonging to age groups 18-35 and 45-55 committed suicide, the senior police official added.
He said in some cases the police register a case under section 306 of Indian Penal Code (abetment of suicide), while in some other cases they initiate proceedings under section 174 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
Suicides were earlier not part of data collected by police, he said, adding that instructions were given to include suicides in the daily situation information (DSI) of the police department.
Kundu said the police department raised the issue of increased suicides with the Health Department and non government organisations (NGOs) for their help in spreading awareness among the vulnerable groups.