Tamil Nadu

Usury kills three of a family in Tirunelveli district

The couple and their adult son are believed to have consumed poison after celebrating Pongal as they were being threatened by moneylenders

Usury has wiped out yet another family as a couple and their son allegedly committed suicide by consuming poison, after moneylenders threatened the family with dire consequences if their loan was not settled immediately with the exorbitant interest they were charging.

Police said candy and biscuit stockist Santhanam, 52, of Rose Garden in Keezha Aambur, his wife Lakshmi, 47, a teacher with a government-aided school in nearby Pottalpudhur, and their son Arockiya Sridhar, 22, who was working in a private firm, allegedly consumed poison on Wednesday around midnight after celebrating Pongal, as the moneylenders from whom the family had borrowed money exerted pressure on them to settle their loan immediately.

Santhanam and Lakshmi’s daughter Jothi, found her parents and brother battling for life in the early hours of Thursday and alerted the neighbours who rushed them to the hospital. After first-aid, the couple and Sridhar were referred to the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital. While Santhanam died on Thursday, Lakshmi died on Friday evening. Sridhar, who was undergoing treatment in the intensive care unit died around Friday midnight.

Police said one of the moneylenders had already forcibly registered the couple’s house in Vickramasingapuram in his name, prompting the couple to move to Rose Garden in Keezha Aambur. As the moneylenders’ threat continued even after the couple had repaid a major portion of the loan with interest, they might have taken the extreme step, the police suspect.

Those in distress or having suicidal tendencies can seek help and counselling by calling the State’s health helpline 104 or Chennai-based Sneha’s suicide prevention helpline 044-24640050.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 8:47:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/usury-kills-three-of-a-family-in-tirunelveli-district/article30592127.ece

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