4 jobless friends 'commit suicide' in India

AFP . New Delhi | Update:

.Four friends in northern India anxious over their job prospects jumped in front of a train Thursday in an apparent suicide pact, police said Thursday.

Three died at the scene in Rajasthan while a fourth succumbed to his injuries in hospital, state police told AFP.

Witnesses said the students, aged between 17 and 24, were anxious about jobs and upcoming exams before they hurled themselves in front on the moving carriages in Alwar.

"The probe will reveal the actual reason of the suicide. An eyewitness has said that the boys were worried about jobs," a Rajasthan police official told AFP.

Voters go to the polls next month in Rajasthan, a desert state of nearly 70 million where joblessness is a burning issue.

In September, more than 23,000 jobseekers in Rajasthan applied for just five entry-level government jobs requiring menial office work.

India boasts Asia's third-largest economy but concerns about job growth, especially for its huge youth population, have been on the rise ahead of next year's general election.

Suicide is also a major problem in the South Asian nation of 1.25 billion, especially among students.

India has some of the highest suicide rates in the world and in 2015 nearly 9,000 students took their own lives, official figures show.

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