He was upset over not owning a salon; poisoned and strangled girls before hanging

A 38-year-old man poisoned his daughters to death before committing suicide by hanging at his house in Thattankulam, Choolai, on Friday.

He was reportedly dejected over being unable to set up his own hair-styling salon in the neighbourhood.

The police said M. Parthiban (38), who worked as a hair stylist in his brother’s shop, was found hanging from a ceiling fan in his house, early on Friday, when his relative, S. Kumarasen, went to collect his cellphone charger.

Parthiban’s daughters P. Pavithra (5), a class I student, and P. Sandhya (3), were found lying motionless on the floor. Kumarasen raised an alarm following which neighbours gathered at the house. They rushed the father and girls to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital where the doctors said they were ‘brought dead’.

A special police team led by assistant commissioner (Pulianthope), P. Loganathan, inspected the crime scene and registered a case.

Parthiban’s wife, Malarvizhi, who was away at a relative’s house, was shocked to hear the news. “I am orphaned now. When I spoke to him on Thursday night, he told me the children were fast asleep. He said he had headed home instead of coming to our relative’s place as he was dead tired,” she said.

On Wednesday, Parthiban, with his family, had visited his mother-in-law in Arambakkam near Ambattur. On Thursday, they were to go to a relative’s place in Avadi. Parthiban told his wife he would bring the children on his motorcycle and that she should go by herself.

But he headed back home to Choolai. According to the police, Parthiban fed the girls mangoes and soft drinks laced with poison. After they lost consciousness, he appears to have strangled them, the police said, based on marks on the girls’ necks. He then hung from the ceiling fan. “We are awaiting test results from the post-mortem to verify the details,” said K. Ruban, inspector (law & order), Pulianthope police.    

According to Parthiban’s neighbours, the man had always nurtured a desire to own a salon. He was not too happy about working in his younger brother, Srinivasan’s, shop. Prior to joining Srinivasan, Parthiban had been a lorry driver.

“Parthiban and his wife were peaceful people. They moved to the locality a year ago and had been living in a ground-floor apartment as tenants. They did not interact with us much,” said K. Vishwanathan, a neighbour.

Two months ago, Parthiban had opened his own hair-styling salon after borrowing some money from his brother. But he had to shut shop after finding it difficult to pay the shop rent.

Since then, he had been scouting for similar options and wanted his brother to lend him around Rs. three lakh to pay the ‘advance’ on a new shop. But, Srinivasan refused to part with the money citing financial troubles.

“Parthiban was depressed and did not go to work the past three days. He was heavily drunk at the time of the incident. He may have killed his children to spare them the agony of having to fend for themselves without a father,” said an investigating officer.

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