BARC woman scientist found dead

Mumbai, March 4 (IANS) Tital Pal, a 27-year-old woman scientist working with the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), committed suicide at her home near here, police said Thursday.

Her body was found by some colleagues late Wednesday night hanging from a ceiling fan on the 14th floor residence at the Nilgiri Apartments, a BARC staff quarters at Anushakti Nagar, north-east Mumbai. No suicide note has been found by the police.

Pal was planning to get married and live in Kolkata, officials said.

In fact, she had sought a transfer back to her home city. She lived in the Shyam Bazaar area of Kolkata and her father is a senior officer with the Kolkata Electric Supply Corporation.

According to officials, she had returned from Kolkata two days ago after celebrating her birthday Feb 28 with her family.

Pal worked as a scientific officer ‘C’ at the Isotope Division of the Radio Chemistry Department at BARC.

Her friends and colleagues described her as ‘a cheerful, helpful woman’.

Pal had left office for home an hour earlier as she felt weary after the long Kolkata-Mumbai flight the previous night.

Later, she became incommunicado for several hours, forcing neighbours to break open the flat’s door – and find her body hanging from the ceiling fan.

She was rushed to the BARC Hospital where she was declared dead and later the Trombay Police sent her body for an autopsy at the Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar.

BARC officials said she had sought a transfer to the Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre, a division belonging to the Department of Atomic Energy in Kolkata, and it (the transfer) was due to come soon.

She had joined the BARC’s Radiometallurgy Department before being shifted to the Radio Chemistry Department.

Her suicide came barely 10 days after the death of another scientist, Mahadevan Iyer at Anand Bhawan, a BARC staff quarter in south Mumbai, Feb 22.

Since Iyer, 48, a mechanical engineer with the BARC’s Reaction Group, lived alone, police had immediately suspected suicide.

However, it was registered as a murder case after the autopsy report revealed that he had suffered heavy internal bleeding after being hit by a blunt object.

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