'Family pressure led NRI woman to commit suicide' | india | Hindustan Times
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'Family pressure led NRI woman to commit suicide'

Navjeet Sidhu, 27, raised in Britain, suffered depression brought on in part because her first-born child was not a boy.

india Updated: Sep 27, 2006 21:27 IST

Family pressure in a Sikh household led an NRI woman to commit suicide in London last year by jumping in front of an express train, with her two children, investigators told a court here.

Navjeet Sidhu, 27, raised in Britain, suffered depression brought on in part because her first-born child was not a boy.

Her husband, Manjit, returned to India and the couple were reconciled only when Navjeet agreed he would not have to do housework.

West London coroner's court heard on Tuesday that Sidhu jumped with her daughter Simran, five, and son Aman Raj, 23 months, in front of a 160-km Heathrow express at Southall, west London in August last year.

When her husband arrived a short time later he walked past the body of his wife and collected that of his son. Six months after the tragedy, Navjeet's mother, Satwant Kaur Sodhi, 56, killed herself by jumping in front of a train at the same spot, unable to cope with the grief.

The couple met in India in 1995 and set up home in Southall in 1997. The inquest heard that Sidhu was driven to suicide by the high expectations her extended Sikh family had of her to run a family and the refusal of her husband to help with chores.

She was prescribed medication for a recurrent depressive disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder shortly after the birth of Simran in 2000.

In a statement, Manjit said his wife telephoned him in tears before jumping. "She was crying and said, 'I'm sorry for everything. Say sorry to everyone. I have always loved you. I am going." I asked her, 'Are the children with you' and she said, 'Yes'. Then the phone went dead."