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Three suicides in 12 days: The Bengali film industry is under the spotlight over the death of actresses 

The suicide of three actresses has rocked the Bengali film industry, raising questions about the mental stress and problems faced by artists in their private lives, away from the public glare.

The Bengali film industry (also called Tollywood) has been under the scanner after three model-turned-actresses allegedly committed suicide within the past 12 days. The deceased included actress Pallavi Dey, Bidisha De Majumder and Manjusha Niyogi.

The saga began with the death of 25-year-old Pallavi on May 15 this year. Her body was recovered from a rented apartment in the Garfa area of Kolkata. She was rushed to the MR Bangur Hospital where the actress was declared dead on arrival.

“The actor was found hanging from a ceiling fan with the help of a bedsheet. The incident took place at about 9:30 am. A case of unnatural death has been registered,” the police had informed. Although the case appeared to be that of suicide, Pallavi’s family raised the possibility of a murder.

Two days later on May 17, the Kolkata police arrested the actress’ live-in-partner Sagnik Chakraborty. The cops are now questioning the co-workers of the Pallavi Dey. She was the female lead in the TV serial ‘Mon Mane Na.’

She had also worked in other serials such as ‘Aami Sirajer Begum’, ‘Reshma Japi’, ‘Kunjo Chhaya’ and ‘Saraswati Prem’. 

Sour relationship claimed to be the cause of Bidisha De Majumder’s suicide

Her death was mourned by model/ actress Bidisha De Majumder. In a Facebook post, she wrote. “What is this? I cannot believe it, Pallavi Dey.”

Majumder, who expressed grief over the death of Pallavi Dey, allegedly committed suicide 10 days later on Wednesday (May 25). Her body was recovered from her flat in the Dum Dum area of Kolkata.

As per a report in India Today, the actress ended her life over a same-sex relationship with a woman whom she endearingly referred to as ‘bou‘ (wife). “Bidisha also used to put sindoor on the woman’s forehead during their bridal photoshoots, claiming that only she could do that to her wife,” the report said.

The Facebook cover picture of the deceased actress shows her referring to model Rusha Mukherjee as her alleged wife.

Screengrab of Facebook cover of Bidisha De Majumder

However, a friend of Bidisha De Majumder named Diya Das told ABP Ananda that the actress was sad over her ‘dysfunctional relationship’ with her ‘boyfriend’ of 5 months. The man, identified as one Anubhav Bera, has dismissed the claims and said that he never agreed to be in a relationship with Majumder.

Model Manjusha Niyogi commits suicide over Majumder’s death

On Friday (May 27), it came to light that a close friend of Bidisha De Majumder committed suicide in the Patuli neighbourhood of Kolkata. Identified as Manjusha Niyogi, she worked as an actress in TV serial titled, ‘Kanchi.’

Her mother claimed that the actress went into acute depression after learning about the death of Majumder. “My daughter used to constantly say that she wants to stay with Bidisha. She used to speak about Bidisha constantly. I scolded her when she told me that soon the media will focus on our house just like Bidisha’s,” she informed.

The sudden death of three models-turned-actresses has put the spotlight on addressing mental health issues at the earliest.

“In 96 % of cases, those who take a drastic step, often speak about it prior to the incident. Most of the time, it is a desperate cry for help and we should notice it. The moment we notice such things, we should immediately seek help from professionals,” remarked Molly Thambi who works for suicide prevention.

Coincidentally, all actresses were found hanging from their ceilings in their Kolkata apartment.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Dibakar Dutta
Dibakar Dutta
Centre-Right. Political analyst. Assistant Editor @Opindia. Reach me at [email protected]

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