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The romantic legacy of an AIDS victim ended up in tragedy

Love probably meant embracing death together for a married couple in West Bengal. The duo preferred to end their miseries instead of dying a little of humiliation everyday. In an act driven// by social ostracism, a 29-year-old man first poisoned to death his 25-year-old wife and then hanged himself in the Durgapur industrial town of south Bengal's Burdwan district, near Kolkata.

Probir and Basanti Sarkar were a happy couple since their love marriage four years ago. Basanti was recently found to be HIV positive and is believed to have contracted the virus from a blood transfusion 12 years ago.

The ordeal began with friends, neighbours and even family members socially boycotting them after she was diagnosed as HIV positive. It was alleged that Basanti was even prevented from boarding a cycle rickshaw by some neighbours because of her infection and no one wanted to provide the couple with a vehicle for taking her to hospital for admission.

The couple had gone to CMC hospital, in Tamil Nadu for treatment earlier and was later admitted in a local hospital for treatment of pneumonia and tuberculosis. Probir, who was not infected, could not bear to see his wife living as a social outcast and is said to have taken up the drastic step after Basanti's discharge from the hospital.

Probir gave his wife half a glass of poison and after he was sure that she had died, he hanged himself. Their bodies were recovered Friday morning, police said.

According to latest figures by international health bodies, India has 5.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS, second only to South Africa.

Source: Indo-Asian News Service

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