Thiruvananthapuram, June 2 (BPNS)
In a suspected case of suicide, five members of a family were found dead in their house in Chathanpara, near Kallambalam on the outskirts of the state capital on Saturday morning. While financial issues are said to have forced the family to take the extreme step, police said that it will be premature to comment on the reason behind the deaths.
The deceased were Manikuttan (52), his wife Sandhya (46), his children Ajeesh (15) and Ameya (13), and Manikuttan’s mother’s sister Devakiamma (78). While Manikuttan was found hanging from the ceiling of a bedroom, the others were found lying dead on a bed and the floor suspectedly upon consuming poison.
However, Manikuttan’s mother Vilasini Amma who was also in the house was found alive and she has been shifted to a relative’s house nearby. She was said to be unaware of the mishap till one of Manikuttan’s staff arrived at the house.
“Manikuttan was running a roadside eatery shop near his house. A worker at the shop, Shamnad, arrived in the morning for the keys to open the shop. It was Vilasini Amma who opened the door for Shamnad. Then she knocked at the door of Manikuttan’s room. But there was no response. Then Shamnad and Manikuttan’s nephew broke open the door and found Manikuttan hanging. Others were also found dead at various places,” said a local account.
At the same time, Rural SP Divya Gopinath said that an investigation has been initiated and conclusions could be made only after the postmortem and scientific analysis.
Though some reports came out first that it was due to the hefty fine imposed by the food safety department that resulted in the alleged suicide of the family, it turned out to be erroneous. The department itself came out with evidence that only a fine of Rs 5000 was imposed and Manikuttan himself had paid the same. The fine was imposed for not taking a license and for operating the eatery in an unhygienic condition.