Minor girl accused of poisoning family

The Chitradurga police have unravelled the mystery behind the death of four persons at Isamudra Gollarahatti near Chitradurga taluk, which was reported on July 12. The accused is a minor girl of the family and she has been sent to an observation home. She allegedly mixed pesticide in ragi flour while preparing ‘mudde’ (ragi balls) as she was feeling isolated and neglected in the family.

Her father Thippa Naika, 45, mother Sudha Bai, 40, grandmother Gundibai, 80, and sister Ramya, 16, died after having dinner that day. Her elder brother Chandrashekhar alias Rahul, who also ate the food, survived after undergoing treatment in Davangere.

The Bharamasagar police had registered a case. A sample of the food from the kitchen was sent for forensic examination and the report confirmed the presence of pesticide in the ragi ‘mudde’. Only the accused did not have ‘mudde’ on that day, even though she had prepared it. After several days of enquiry and counselling, the police found out that the minor girl was the one responsible. She is said to have procured a used bottle of pesticide while returning home from the agricultural field.

G. Radhika, Superintendent of Police of Chitradurga, said on Monday that the girl had been separated from her parents within three months of her birth. She had been staying with her maternal grandmother at Inahalli, about 30 km from Isamudra.

She shifted to her parents’ home only three years ago. She often had differences with her siblings and parents. “She was not good at studies and spent most of her time watching television serials. Her parents had forced her to work in the agricultural fields and also made her do household chores, while her two siblings went to school. There were instances when her parents and siblings beat her up. All this must have forced her to take this step,” the officer said.

The accused, the Superintendent of Police said, had attempted to kill her family members a few months ago. “Then she had mixed pesticide with sambar. No one ate the food as they found the smell odd. However, nobody suspected her role in the incident. This emboldened her to make another attempt,” she said.

Ms. Radhika also suspected the influence of TV serials on the girl. “She was addicted to watching TV serials. Glorification of crime on serials could have influenced her. The parents could have prevented the incident had they understood her feelings and responded positively,” she said.

‘Conduct disorder’

If the girl had gone to the extent of murdering her family members, she must have undergone a lot of suffering, said S.V. Santhosh, professor and head of the Department of Psychiatry at Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences. “Whenever children commit such crimes, we analyse the way they were brought up and the background of parents. In some children, we notice conduct disorder, a tendency of opposing basic social values. This could have led to this situation.”

On the influence of TV serials, Dr. Santhosh said most of the serials glorify characters committing evil actions and that could influence viewers, particularly children.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 3:28:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/minor-girl-accused-of-poisoning-family/article37050091.ece

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