Two days after his attempt at encouraging his children to pull up their socks at school and reprimanding his wife for their performance drove them to suicide, Pradeep Kumar, 45, is a shattered man under suicide watch.
After being scolded, his daughter Priyanka, son Neeraj and wife Kamlesh swallowed sulphas tablets. Priyanka and Kamlesh died while Neeraj survived.
Posted as an assistant sub-inspector at outer Delhi’s Vijay Vihar police station, Pradeep is now being subtly being watched by his own subordinates.
“He was on duty when he found out about the incident and slumped to the ground sobbing when told that both his wife Kamlesh and his daughter Priyanka were dead,” said an officer from the Vijay Vihar police station.
“I was just doing my duty as a father,” he kept repeating as he sobbed inconsolably on the way to a private hospital in Paschim Vihar to check on the sole remaining member of his family — his son Neeraj, 14.
The police said the incident was reported late on Monday — the day the class 12 CBSE results were declared. Neeraj, now a class 10 student, had just received his own result in the morning.
His father Pradeep hadn’t been impressed at his seemingly dismal performance and had not talked to him throughout the day. Hours later, his daughter Priyanka flunked her final exams, sending her father into a fit of rage directed at their mother.
“He admitted that he had not only scolded the children but also his wife, Kamlesh, for not being able to take care of the children’s studies despite spending the entire day with them at home,” said an officer.
According to officials investigating the incident, while ASI Pradeep is known to be given to occasional fits of anger, his mercurial temperament would never aim to harm.
“When he came to his senses, senior officials from the police station counselled him as best as they could. He kept repeating that his only regret was not the academic incapability of his children, but his own capability of not being able to spend more time with them because the nature of his job,” said an officer.
The police said Pradeep was kept under a subtle watch by his subordinates who accompanied him every single minute as he waited for Neeraj to snap out of the poison-induced slumber that he, his sister and their mother had decided to seek refuge in after having confronted his anger.
“Inquest proceedings have been initiated at the Nihal Vihar police station,” the officer said.