Kerala

Man booked for abetting suicide of wife, daughter

His mother, sister also booked based on a suicide note

The police on Wednesday said that mounting pressure from the bank to repay ₹5 lakh housing loan mortgage, exacerbated by recurrent bouts of vehement familial dispute and fear had led to the suicide of Lekha, 44, and her daughter Vaishnavi, 19, at their home at Maraimuttom in Neyyattinkara on Tuesday.

Investigators said they were relying on a suicide note left behind by the mother and daughter as a road map for solving the case.

Neyyattinkara Dy.SP Sini F. Dennis told The Hindu that the mother and daughter had entered into a suicide pact and they feared that they would soon be rendered homeless.

The co-signed record they left behind indicated that Lekha’s husband R. Chandran, his mother and sister persistently harassed Lekha and undermined her efforts to sell the plot to settle the loan believing that a ficus tree on the land had supernatural powers to alleviate their financial troubles.

The note also threw light on the harassment Lekha faced as a bride for more dowry. The police booked Chandran, his mother and sister for abetment of suicide under Section 306 of the IPC.

No clean chit yet

Officials said the victims had died of third-degree burns and respiratory failure due to smoke asphyxia. Investigators said that on the face of it, the bank officials seemed not to have direct complicity in the deaths. However, they have not given them a clean chit yet.

Officials said their visit to the house on Friday to serve notice for repossessing the home and persistent calls to Lekha appeared to have aggravated the situation. The police have summoned bank officials for questioning.

Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac said hundreds of families in Kerala faced a similar predicament and he would take up their case at the next meeting of the banker’s committee.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 2:36:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/loan-familial-discord-led-to-suicide-police/article27139406.ece

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