THE DANCE of death due to extreme poverty in Uttar Pradesh, it seems, knows no stopping. If there are reports of starvation deaths, no more limited to the Bundelkhand regions alone (a labourer reportedly died of malnutrition yesterday in Gorakhpur), cases of mass suicide are also surfacing at a disturbing pace.
Close on the heels of a family of three (father, son and daughter) committing suicide a couple of months back due to poverty, tragedy struck Varanasi once again, this time at its Kashipura area where a woman lost her husband and three daughters in a case of ‘mass suicide’ this afternoon.
Thirty-year-old Chhotu Keshri, Lalli (6), Sunner (4) and Gori (2) were rushed to hospital where doctors declared them brought dead. The cause of death was stated to be consumption of poison.
Chhotu, according to locals, was facing financial crisis. Police have seized Chhotu’s body for post mortem while talks were on between the police and the magistrate to hand over the bodies of the kids to their mother.
According to information, Chhotu, son of late Babu Lal Kasera, was a resident of densely populated Kashipura area. He was working in a brass utensil shop and found his income too meagre to meet both ends for his family of six. His four brothers were well established but did not extend any financial assistance to him.
Chhotu was eager to establish his own business but was unable to do so due to lack of funds. His relatives said the couple often quarrelled over money matters.
Reports said, Chhotu along with his three minor daughters had gone out of his house at around 2 pm for a walk. His wife Chhoti was in the house with another daughter. Chhoti was waiting for her youngest daughter Gori to sleep after meals when her neighbours told her that her husband and three kids had fallen ill on the Ramleela lane, just 100 metres away from her house. On reaching the spot, she found her husband and three kids in a serious condition. The locals rushed them to a city hospital where they were declared brought dead.