Upset with the loss of her husband in a factory mishap and the “apathy shown by his employers”, a 40-year-old woman living in Delhi Cantonment allegedly committed suicide by consuming acid on Monday. She took the extreme step a day after her husband’s death. The woman Asha Devi is survived by three sons, two are minors.

The children not only lost both their parents within a span of a few hours but are now left without any financial support. The sons have accused Arvinder Singh, the fancy lights factory owner, where their deceased father once worked, of negligence leading to their father’s death and abetting the suicide of their mother.

The police said Asha Devi committed suicide a day after her husband, Rohan Singh (46), who used to work at the Prestige Light Factory in Delhi Cantonment, became a victim of an accident. He was working on a spinning machine when a wooden wheel attached to the machine broke and fell on his head causing him grievous injuries.

The owner of the factory, Arvinder Singh, has been booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and negligent conduct with respect to machinery. Rohan’s colleague Surender has purportedly told the police that the partially decomposed wood in the wheel had not been changed for long.

Asha Devi and the couple’s eldest son Sachin Kumar (20) reached the hospital after receiving the news. “Singh called my mother aside after she saw the body. He spoke to her for about 20 minutes after which she did not say anything and headed straight for home, while I stayed back at the hospital,” recalled Sachin.

He said he was unaware of the conversation that transpired between them but said his mother “appeared scared”. Sachin’s youngest brother Chandramohan said their mother reached home around 2 p.m. and immediately entered the bathroom.

“She emerged sometime later with smoke emanating from her mouth,” he said. A neighbour said Asha asked her to look after her children.

She was rushed to Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Hospital where she died around 11-30 p.m. on Monday.

A second-year undergraduate student of Delhi University, Sachin said he might have to discontinue studies and take up a job to support his younger brothers, aged 17 and 14.

Singh was arrested on Tuesday and released on bail, said a senior police officer. On whether he would be booked in a separate abetment to suicide case, the officer said they were looking into the circumstances under which she took the extreme step. The family members have not filed any formal complaint.

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