Four members of Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha member N. Gopi’s family allegedly committed suicide at their residence at Nagavarapalya at Byappanahalli here on Thursday.
Mr. Gopi (45) was found hanging in the hall, whereas his son, Dileep Kumar (17), was found dead on the floor in the hall. Gopi’s wife, Jayashree (38), and daughter, Sangeeta (14), were found dead in their bedroom.
The police suspected that the family had consumed food mixed with poison and Gopi had later hanged himself to death, they said.
Gopi had been associated with the Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha for 20 years and was known as the Man Friday of the party leader Vatal Nagaraj. He also ran a photocopy-cum-CD rental shop at Bengenhalli nearby.
The incident came to light when Gopi’s nephew went to their house around 4 p.m. Many local residents were surprised when they found the shop closed on Thursday as it would usually be opened around 10 a.m.
Gopi was a familiar figure in the area and many wondered why he had not opened the shop.
Some of the residents then called his nephew. When his nephew went to their house, he found the door locked.
He later peeped in through the window and saw the bodies following which he alerted the family and the police.
The Byappanahalli police, who rushed to the house, found a two-page note. The letter stated that no one was responsible for the deaths. It is believed that Gopi had written about his life as well in the letter.
A senior police official said that preliminary investigation indicated financial difficulties as a possible reason for the family taking the extreme step.
However, Gopi’s niece Bindushree said that many people would approach her uncle for financial assistance. “We don’t think they were facing financial difficulties,” she added.
Gopi and his family lived on the first floor of a two-storeyed building. Dileep Kumar, a student of Siddaganga College in Tumkur, had come down to the city on Wednesday night as he was not well.
Gopi’s brothers — Krishna and Vasu — lived on the ground and second floor, respectively.
Speaking to presspersons, Mr. Krishna said, “I left with my family for Tumkur on Thursday. However, I got a call about the suicide and we rushed back to the city. We are shocked and clueless as to why they chose to commit suicide.” Raghavendra, a friend of the family, said that they had last seen Gopi and his family on Wednesday night as they were all celebrating his friend Gundappa’s birthday at his home.
Vatal pays respects
Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha leader Vatal Nagaraj paid his last respects to the deceased family of Gopi. “I feel like I have lost my right hand today. We have not only lost my brother but also a true Kannada activist,” he said.