Tamil Nadu: 3 of a family dead after self-immolation over harassment by money lender

The four including two children are battling for their lives with 70% burn injuries after a suicide bid.

india Updated: Oct 23, 2017 19:38 IST
KV Lakshmana
KV Lakshmana
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Self immolation,Suicide bid,Harassment
The labourer and his family were allegedly being harassed by a money lender.(Representative Photo)

Four members of a family, including two children, attempted self-immolation in front of the district collector’s office in Tirunelveli, 600 km south of Chennai, on Monday morning after being allegedly harassed by a moneylender.

The four were rushed to a government hospital, where three of them – the mother and two children – died. Hospital sources in Tirunelveli confirmed the deaths.

The husband, Icchhati Muthu, is still battling for life at the government hospital.

The four – Muthu, Subbulakshi and their two children, five-year-old Madisaranya and one-and-a-half-year-old Akshya Bharani – had suffered over 70% burns.

Muthu, a labourer, according to a media report, and his family allegedly took the drastic action because he was being harassed and threatened by a local money lender over the repayment of a loan he had taken at a very huge interest.

His brother told reporters that the money lender’s men were threatening Muthu and he along with his family members had come to the collector’s office to submit a memorandum. The brother who tried to put out the flames was also injured and was taken to hospital.

District collector Sandeep Nanduri told reporters that “a proper and thorough investigation will be done.” He has already passed on the details of the case to the police superintendent who has formed a team to investigate the matter.

Icchhati Muthu had taken a loan of Rs 1.40 lakh and has already repaid an amount of Rs 2 lakh, but even after this the money lender was harassing him for more money as compound interest for the loan.

Collector Nanduri said that the problem of money lenders, prevalent in the district, will be thoroughly investigated.

“We will form special cell and a team exclusively to deal with the issue. We will form a helpline with the assistance of the revenue department,” Nanduri said but added the issue has to be studied in depth and investigated before making any comment.

First Published: Oct 23, 2017 14:44 IST