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Triple suicide case: Family may have planned it months ago, say police

Triple suicide case: Family may have planned it months ago, say police
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New Delhi: A woman and her two daughters, who allegedly killed themselves at their residence in Vasant Vihar here on Saturday, may have "planned their suicides few months ago", police said.

Manju Srivastava (55) and her daughters Ankita (30) and Anshuta (26) had been depressed after the family head Umesh Srivastava died of COVID-19 last year. Financial difficulties had made their lives more miserable, their relatives said.

"From preliminary investigation and the contents of the suicide notes accessed by the police, it appears that the deceased family had been planning to commit suicide since last few months..." a police officer said.

He said when the police first visited the crime scene, they found a paper affixed on the wall with a hand-written warning, "Too much deadly gas....carbon monoxide inside. It's flammable. Please ventilate the room by opening the window and turn on the fan. Do not light matches, candle or anything!! Be careful with removing the curtain because the room is full of hazardous gases. Do not inhale. Open the inside window from outside."

The police also said they found that the gas cylinder in the house was partially opened and that they recovered four suicide notes.

Further, the bedroom where all three women were found dead was sealed with foils to prevent the fumes from leaving the room. Three small 'anghiti' (braziers) had also been placed in the room, according to the police.

One of the alleged suicide notes mentioned, "Hum apni zindagi se haar chuke (We have lost our battle with lives). They also cited about their financial crisis and that they had no support. They did not blame anyone or level any allegations against anyone for taking such an extreme step," a police officer said. He said the trio had pointed out in the note that they had also vacated their tenants from another house they owned in the neighbourhood to ensure that their suicides were executed effectively.

"A suicide note mentioned that they had deliberately removed their tenants because if they continued to stay adjacent to this house, they could never plan the suicide in this manner and it could have put their lives in danger too..." the officer said. The suicide notes are being verified for authenticity, he said. Claiming that the three women were depressed, a relative named Praveen Srivastava said Manju and her two daughters could not recover from the loss of their family head. He also said Umesh Srivastava, the head of the family, had sold off his property for around Rs 15 lakh sometime ago, giving the impression that they were facing a financial crunch.

Ankita and Anshuta had studied accounting and finance, and wanted to make it big in their respective fields, but after the death of their father, meeting their daily expenses itself had become a challenge, Praveen said.

Anshul Srivastva, another relative who arrived from Mainpuri district in Uttar Pradesh, said Manju was "mentally disturbed" and her situation worsened after her husband Umesh's death.

"Due to coronavirus, I could hardly meet Manju chachi and my sisters. But we stayed in contact over phone. My chachi was also bedridden and 'mentally disturbed'. After my uncle passed away, she became all the more weak and disturbed about her daughters' future, but she never shared anything about her financial distress with us," he said.

Praveen claimed he had roughly gone through a suicide note that ran eight to 10 pages. "No allegations were levelled against anyone in the written note. They had thanked everyone for supporting them but after the demise of my uncle, they felt a vaccum in their life... They also mentioned that they did not want to burden anyone or be dependent financially or emotionally on anyone," he said.5

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