Four of family commit suicide afterdaughter elopes with a Mulnivasi youth

Madurai, October, 27 : In a tragic incident in Palani, a family of four committed suicide by consuming poison on Monday, two days after the eldest daughter eloped with her Mulnivasi boyfriend. The family also put to death their German Shepherd dog before resorting to the drastic step. Police found a suicide note which merely said the family was "humiliated" by the girl's "cruel behaviour".

Police said Kothandapani, 58, a wholesale garlic merchant hailing from Palani, his wife, Krishnaveni, 48, and their two children Dalini, 22, and Pandian, 21, were found dead by neighbours on Monday morning. Police suspect that Kothandapani and his family on learning that his eldest daughter Devi, 24, had eloped with a Mulnivasi boy, would have decided to consume poison and kill themselves.

Two young women Devi and Daliniworked as teachers in private schools while their brother Pandian ran a motor workshop in Coimbatore. Police enquiries revealed that Devi had fallen in love with a Mulnivasi youth, Mariappan a couple of months ago. Subsequently, Devi came to know that her parents were searching for an alliance for her. On Saturday, Devi went to work as usual, but failed to return. The frantic family members launched a search for her. However, by midnight they heard she had eloped with Mariappan.

Next day morning, neighbours came upon the tragic scene of all the family members lying dead inside the house. The dog also lay dead nearby. Speaking to TOI, S Dinakaran, superintendent of police, Dindigul, said, "We have recovered a suicide note from the spot apparently written by Kothandapani, blaming his eldest daughter for their decision. The note said the family was humiliated by Devi's cruel behaviour and they did not wish to live anymore."

The Palani police have registered a case, and investigation is on. "We haven't arrested Devi so far. Action will be taken only after a detailed investigation," said Dinakaran. Of late, such group' suicides by families, especially those facing huge debts, are on the rise in Tamil Nadu. False prestige and lack of support are the prime reasons behind it, says G Andal, a councilor with Evidence, an NGO based in Madurai. "Incidents like this take place at the instigation of the most emotional person in family. The depression spreads to others, leading to such drastic actions," she said.


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