Under pressure to clear their debt, a weaver and his wife committed suicide at their residence at Hulimavu here after poisoning their two children. A neighbour found the bodies on Tuesday morning and informed the police.
Manjunath (40), a powerloom weaver, and his wife, Satyavati (35), a garment factory worker, were found hanging by the same rope from a fan in the bedroom while their children, Prithviraj (12) and Rishika (9), were found lying on the floor in the hall. The couple left a note which said they were resorting to this extreme step because of financial reasons and they were ashamed of being in debt. The note said Manjunath did not want to leave his children behind as he did not want moneylenders to harass them.
Neighbours said Manjunath had borrowed money from several of them. Satyavati also borrowed about Rs. 20,000 from the local Stree Shakti Sangha. Besides this, the family had borrowed for treating Prithviraj, who had not been keeping well for the last few weeks.
According to Raju, who resides on the first floor of Manjunath’s residence, members of the sangha on Sunday created a scene in front of the building demanding that the couple repay the loan. Several other creditors too were pressuring the family.
On Monday night, Manjunath spoke to Mr. Raju, probably the last one to have talked to him. “I accompanied Manjunath around 10.30 p.m. to buy sweets. After we returned to the building, I received a call from Manjunath who said he wanted to talk as he was upset. I told him to calm down and go to sleep as it was late,” he told The Hindu.
Mr. Raju’s father-in-law Nagaraju chanced upon the bodies when he went to Manjunath’s residence to inform them about storing drinking water.
“When I went upstairs, the door was slightly open. I tried waking up the children in the hall. When they did not stir, I went into the bedroom where I saw the bodies,” Mr. Nagaraju said.