KARACHI: The suicide of 13-year-old Hasan (name has been changed to protect privacy), described as a lively, religious and loving boy by his family, came as a shock to the entire community.
Hasan allegedly hanged himself from the window grille in his room at his house in Paposh Nagar on Tuesday evening. His family, while talking to The Express Tribune on Wednesday, categorically blamed the media for his death. “News channels these days provide excessive coverage to suicide by youngsters over issues such as bad grades or girl problems,” said Hasan’s maternal aunt. “He got the idea to hang himself after watching these shows. Why else would he hang himself? He was such a clever and lively boy, but he had a mischievous nature.”
The family vehemently denied claims that he ended his life over failing a school test. “He was recently promoted to a new class after passing his exams,” said his aunt. “He was looking forward to his holidays. There is no truth to him killing himself over bad grades.”
The deceased’s cousin Noman said that Hasan, who was the second of his five siblings, was a religious boy who was deeply loved by his parents. “Let people spread false news about his suicide and claim that he failed in school. We will not give justifications to anyone,” Noman said sternly.
Meanwhile, Paposh Nagar SHO Rizwan said that they received information about the boy’s failure in school from people at the hospital. “By the time we reached Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, the boy’s family had taken him away without examination,” said the SHO, adding that the police have not recorded statements of the family and have yet to ascertain what the boy used to hang himself. “We gathered information from the neighbours who said that Hasan committed suicide because he failed a test and was scared to show his father the results.”
Hasan was studying in grade eight at Azeem School located near his house. The shaken school principal, Ateeq Shamsi, said that the results of the monthly tests were not out and there was no link. “He was an average student, but a very happy child. There was no indication that he was depressed or involved in brawls.”
Commenting on the recent suicides by children, psychologist Dr Unaiza Niaz termed them a copycat phenomena, which emerged after the suicide of actress Marilyn Monroe when a lot of people close to her age ended their life.
“It is a possibility that the child ended his life after getting an idea on how to escape failure. This is a very serious and alarming issue which has surfaced recently.” She said that the media should be extremely careful in their reporting and not give ideas to children.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 1st, 2012.