Kerala

Aged man’s death: son taken into custody

A day after the ordeal of 80-year-old Podiyan and his 76-year-old wife Ammini came to light, the Mundakkayam police on Thursday took their younger son into custody.

According to the police, 38-year-old Reji Kumar, a native of Asambani, near Mundakkayam, was taken into custody in connection with the death of his father Podiyan, allegedly due to starvation. The accused has been charged with Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) as he deliberately denied food, water and medicine to his father despite being aware that it would lead to his death.

The police are also slated to book the accused under the relevant sections of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act-2007 , besides seeking the possibility of arraigning Reji’s wife as a co-accused.

Though Podiyan along with wife were rescued from their house the other day, the health of the 80-year-old had fatally deteriorated. A primary report of the post-mortem examination attributed the death to severe malnutrition.

Malnutrition

“As per the statement of the forensic expert, the victim’s internal organs had fatally contracted due to malnutrition, caused by lack of food. The exact reason of the malnutrition is yet to be ascertained but at the same time, the case has been altered from unnatural death to culpable homicide,” said J. Santhosh Kumar, Dy.SP, Kanjirappally.

Meanwhile, Kottayam Sub-Collector Rajeev Kumar Chaudhary and District Director of the Social Welfare Department P.D. Chandrabose on Thursday visited their house and collected evidence. The team is slated to submit a detailed report to District Collector M. Anjana.

Officials said the investigation had clearly revealed lapses on the part of their son in taking care of his parents. “The aged woman would be shifted to a mental rehabilitation centre upon being discharged from the hospital. A decision with regard to the assets under her ownership would be taken later,” the official said.

Explanation from ASHA workers

In a related development, the Mundakkayam grama panchayat on Thursday convened an emergency meeting of its health and welfare standing committees and sought explanation from the ASHA workers in-charge of the area. The panchayat also tasked the medical officer of a primary health centre in Mundakkayam to probe the alleged lapses on the part of the Anganwadi-ASHA workers in reporting the incident in a time-bound manner.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 10:42:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/aged-mans-death-son-taken-into-custody/article33627818.ece

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