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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Woman, son dead in Bengaluru family’s suicide pact taped by teen daughter

A 45-year-old man has been arrested in Bengaluru for allegedly hanging his son in a suicide pact by his family over mounting debts, police said on Monday.

india Updated: Jun 04, 2019 00:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru

A 17-year-old girl filmed her 12-year-old brother being hanged from a ceiling fan by their father in Bengaluru on Sunday night and screamed for help to save herself from the same fate, police said on Monday. The children’s mother hanged herself too in what appeared to be a family pact -- an incident that brought back memories of the horrific mass suicide by a household of 11 in Delhi’s Burari last year.

The 45-year-old father, arrested on Monday, is said to have told police that his daughter begged him not to kill himself and screamed aloud, which prompted neighbours to call the cops.

The man identified as Suresh Babu, a sales executive with a travel agency, and his wife Geetha Bai, who worked as a cook in some houses in the area, ran up a huge debt after a chit-fund business they floated tanked, police said. They owed money to several people, including their neighbours.

Unable to deal with constant pressure by the creditors, the couple decided to end their lives as well as their children’s, police said. The video shot by the girl showed the boy being hanged forcibly by the father. As the boy still showed signs of life, the father smothered him on a bed.

“The family suffered financial losses and had to repay loans they took from neighbours. They felt they were being harassed by neighbours who constantly kept asking the couple to return the money. So, the family decided to end their lives,” deputy commissioner of police (Whitefield subdivision) Abdul Ahad said.

Police have registered a case against Babu under section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Police reached the house around 3am on Monday after the neighbours called. Babu initially claimed innocence but when confronted with the video, he admitted to the suicide pact.

The video that the daughter shot was aired by some local television news channels. Hindustan Times could not independently verify the contents of the video.

Five of the family’s neighbours, named by Babu, have also been charged for abetment of suicide under section 309, Ahad said.

Police also booked a local journalist who allegedly accessed the video from Babu’s phone during the funeral procession of his wife and son, under section 66(E) of the Information Technology Act. “The journalist telecast the video without blurring the images,” Ahad said.

First Published: Jun 03, 2019 15:26 IST