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Poverty drives youth to share poisoned burger with siblings, 5 dead

Abhimanu Kumar, a barber, poisoned a burger and shared it with his six siblings on Tuesday night.

punjab Updated: Jun 21, 2017 22:58 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kapurthala
Punjab,Poison,Punjab police
(Representative Image)

A 21-year-old barber gave burgers spiked with poison to his five siblings and a cousin, killing four of them, before eating one himself in Kapurthala town’s Luxmi Nagar locality on Tuesday night, a move police said was triggered by extreme poverty the family suffered from.

Besides Abhimanyu, those dead are his siblings Anu Kumari (17), Anshuman Kumari (15), Anurag Kumar (10) and Archana Kumari (9). Abhimanyu’s sister Aarti (7) and his cousin Harinandan Kumar (17), who also had some bites of the burger, were hospitalised and are out of danger now, the police on Wednesday said.

At the time of the incident, which took place around 11pm, the deceased’s mother Geeta Devi was in another room while her husband Kishore Thakur, also a barber, was not in the town. The couple’s another son Avinash (11) was with his father.

In a suicide note, which was found on him, Abhimanyu apologised to his parents for taking the step. He did not blame anyone. The suicide note, written in Hindi, read “I love you mom and dad. You are taking a lot of pains because of us but we have always troubled you. I am also killing my innocent siblings. I miss you. Please forgive me for taking this step.”

Harinandan in his statement to the police said all of them started vomiting soon after eating the burgers. “I immediately called my aunt Geeta Devi who contacted an ambulance on phone. Later, some local residents with the help of the police took us to the civil hospital.”

Three of the victims died at the local civil hospital on Tuesday night, while two, including Abhimanyu, died at a private hospital in Jalandhar on Wednesday morning.

The couple migrated from Bihar 20 years ago and was living on rent. A case was registered under Section 174 of the Criminal Code of Procedure (CrPC).

Kapurthala deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Gurmeet Singh, who is investigating the case, said, “Preliminary probe reveals that Abhimanyu took the step as the nine-member family was struggling to make both ends meet.”

Kapurthala deputy commissioner Mohammad Tayyab has ordered a magisterial inquiry and asked SDM Nayan Bhullar to probe the matter.

SDM Bhullar said, “The family cremated the bodies on Wednesday evening. I will record statements of the victims’ parents and others on Thursday.”

STRAP: 21-year-old barber poisons his five siblings, cousin and self; 2 survive; apologises to parents in suicide note

First Published: Jun 21, 2017 12:27 IST