Five members of a family were found dead, allegedly after consuming poison, in their home at Kizhake Mukkolakal near Peroorkada here on Saturday.
According to the Mannanthala police, the five were identified as Manoharan Ashari, 62, his wife Maheshwari Amma, 55, their sons Biju, 36, and Saju, 34, and Biju’s wife Krishnendu, 24. The bodies were found at 1.15 p.m. after a niece of Manoharan got a message on her phone from Krishnendu, which said “We are leaving” and she alerted her mother, Manoharan’s sister, who in turn reached the family’s residence. She found the doors locked and alerted the police, who broke open the doors to find the family members lying unconscious in different rooms. They were immediately rushed to the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital, where they were declared brought dead.
City Police Commissioner H. Venkatesh, who visited the spot, told The Hindu that a special investigation team, headed by M. Saifuddin, Assistant Commissioner (Cantonment), had been constituted to probe the incident.Suicide note
The family had left behind a note, the contents of which were being analysed. There were several versions, including that of pressure from loan sharks to clear huge debts, on the family. However, these were yet to be confirmed.
“We do not want to jump to premature conclusions. The investigation has started and we are trying to pinpoint the exact reasons by analysing the note left behind, their transactions and every other available evidence in two or three days,” Mr. Venkatesh said.Huge debt
According to information pieced together from neighbours, relatives and the police, Manoharan’s elder son Biju used to deal in the stock market and is suspected to have invested huge sums of money, much of which was borrowed, in shares with the family running to debt after he suffered devastating losses.
The police are verifying reports that henchmen of finance dealers were repeatedly seen visiting the family of late in order to pressurise them to clear the debts, the exact extent of which is also being ascertained.
The bodies were found in different rooms of the house, with Manoharan and Saju in the hall, while the other three were in another room.
The police said two of them were suspected to have consumed liquor laced with poison, while the other three reportedly had ice-cream laced with poison.