An 80-year-old woman, Moorti Devi, committed suicide on Sunday night in Patran, 57 km from here, after alleged "inhuman treatment" by her husband, sons and a daughter-in-law.
Based on a complaint by Devi's brother Piare Lal, her husband Amar Nath, sons Dewaan Chand and Ammi Chand, and Dewaan's wife Teena have been booked under section 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) among other charges, according to Patran police station in-charge Sahib Singh. No arrests had been made till Monday.
In his complaint, Lal alleged that Devi was "harassed and treated inhumanly" by her sons and daughters-in-law as she refused to will her property to them.
"My sister had cash and property worth Rs 25 lakh, but her sons duped her of Rs 20 lakh, and tortured her every day for the rest of the money," said Lal, a retired registrar from Baba Farid University of Life Sciences in Faridkot.
The suicide came to light after the family found that Devi had locked her room from the inside. As they broke in, they found her hanging and rushed her to a local hospital, where she was declared brought dead.
After Lal was informed, he suspected abetment and filed a complaint. On Monday, Lal and his family, along with some other residents, protested in front of the police station seeking immediate action.
Lal also alleged that his sister had lost her eyesight after her sons took her for an operation a few days ago. "Her sons forged her signatures to withdraw money from her bank account," he said.
QUESTION OVER SUICIDE NOTE
The police found a 'suicide note' in Moorti Devi's room, in which she mentioned harassment by her sons and daughters-in-law as the main reason behind ending her life.
The authenticity of the note was disputed as the woman was said to be illiterate, though the police did say that she had been locked up in a room for many days and was not given proper food.
"The suicide note recovered from the spot could not have been written by the victim as she did not know how to read or write. We have sent the suicide note and fingerprints from the spot to a forensic laboratory," said Sahib Singh, in-charge of Patran police station.