Mumbai: Accused of cyber-bullying, 16-year-old commits suicide


Fed up of the constantly being accused of creating a fake Facebook profile of one of her best friends, 16-year-old Poonam Yadav decided to end her life by jumping from the sixth floor of a building opposite her school. The police said that parents of her friend were constantly harassing her over the last weekend for making the fake profile and sending obscene messages to some common friends. Cops have booked the parents of the friend and arrested her father.

Poonam, the daughter of Akhilesh Yadav, a Navy officer of the subedar rank was a student of the Kendriya Vidyalaya.

Her trouble began last week, after a fake Facebook profile sent out messages to six-seven of Poonam’s friends. On Friday, this profile posted the mobile number of her friend Geeta (name changed) with some controversial text. All the classmates started accusing Poonam of putting up these messages.

On Saturday, the matter took an ugly turn when Geeta’s parents went to school and called Poonam to the principal’s cabin. They again accused Poonam of creating the profile. She started crying and claimed innocence. Then, Geeta’s parents asked her to reveal the name of the person who created it. Poonam kept saying she hasn’t done anything, after which her parents and brother Shashank came to school.

When Geeta’s parents alleged that Shashank helped Poonam create the profile, Shashank suggested they settle the matter at the police station. Cops asked them to deactivate their accounts.

But it didn’t end there. On Sunday, Geeta’s parents again went to Poonam’s house and asked her to name the creator of the profile and she again told them she’d done nothing. Then they asked her to accuse her brother, so that she’s spared. “They were continuously pressurising her to either confess or tell cops that Shashank did it,” said Yadav.

Then, on Monday, at around 10 am, cops called Yadav to the Ashwini Hospital in Colaba, where they’d brought Poonam’s dead body. An eyewitness said that she jumped from the sixth floor of the building adjacent to her school. Cops recovered her school bag and found a suicide note in it. “Poonam wrote that Geeta’s parents Shobhan Harakh Singh and Parvati met her at the gate of the school and again threatened to spoil her family’s life. Poonam couldn’t take this, so she went to the building and jumped from the terrace,” said an officer. “On the basis of her note and complaint of her parents, we booked Shobhan and Parvati,” said DCP (Zone-1) Dr. Manoj Kumar Sharma. “We have arrested Shobhan [for abetment of suicide] and he has been sent to judicial custody,” he added. Poonam’s father said, “I want to know who created the fake profile and want him behind bars too.”

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