Suicides: Husband, Mother-in-law,2 others arrested for ‘mental Torture’

Thiruvananthapuram, May 16:

In a new twist in the case relating to suicide of a mother and her teenaged daughter at nearby Neyyatinkara, four family members, including the husband and mother-in-law were arrested Wednesday for alleged mental torture over dowry.

The family had alleged Tuesday that the woman and her daughter had ended their lives, fearing attachment of their home and property over non-payment of loan arrears.  They had taken Rs five lakh home loan from Canara Bank’s Neyyatinkara branch in 2005 and had repaid around Rs eight lakh so far.

Some more amount was outstanding. The bank had denied pressurising the family, forcing the two women to end their lives. Chandran had said Tuesday that his 19-year-old daughter Vaishnavi and wife Lekha (43) had committed suicide due to continuous pressure from bank officials over non-payment of loan dues.

However, the case took a new turn after forensic and police officials found a three page letter written by the mother-daughter duo pasted on the wall of the room in which they ended their lives, which pointed to family problems.

Thiruvananthapuram Rural Superintendent of Police B Ashok told reporters that four family members– Chandran, his mother Krishnamma (80), her sister Shanta and husband Kashi were taken into custody this morning.

The four were arrested and a case for abetment to suicide was registered against them, he said. Police said the suicide note, which has the signatures of the two women, has been sent for forensic tests.

There was no evidence against the bank as of now. “We have not seen the bank documents”, the official said.
Ashok said Lekha stated in her suicide note that she was constantly mentally harassed for dowry by the four accused, especially her mother-in-law.

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