A woman and her two daughters turned their south Delhi flat into a chamber of poisonous gas and suffocated to death in a shocking case of triple suicide. The case brings to mind the mass suicide by 11 people in Burari in 2018
A woman and her two daughters allegedly killed themselves in their home in south Delhi’s Vasant Vihar on Saturday. As per the police, the suicide may have been planned months ago.
The horrifying triple suicide refreshed the memory of the mass suicide by 11 people in Delhi’s Burari in 2018 and several other such suicide pacts across the country.
Let’s take a look at the cases and what led people to take the extreme step:
Financial burden in Vasant Vihar case
Manju Srivastava (55) and her daughters Ankita (30) and Anshuta (26) were found dead at their home in Vasant Vihar after suffocating themselves inside a room.
From preliminary investigation and the contents of the suicide notes accessed by the police, it appeared that the family had been planning to commit suicide since last few months.
According to a PTI report, 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!! 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. 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.
One of the alleged suicide note mentioned, “Hum apni zindagi se haar chuke…(We have lost our battle with lives). They also cited 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.
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.
Shared psychosis of Burari mass suicide
On 1 July, 2018, the national capital woke up to one of the most bizarre and horrifying incidents of mass suicide as 11 members of a family in Burari committed suicide allegedly while conducting a ritual.
Ten of the 11 members of the Bhatia family were found hanging from an iron-mesh in the ceiling, while the body of 77-year-old Narayan Devi, the head of the family, was lying on the floor in another room of the house.
The Crime Branch team investigating the case had found registers with earliest entries from 2011 that had psychological musings and notes about “salvation”, “shunya” and “appeasing God”.
There were some other papers also found which indicated that Lalit had assumed his father’s alter ego and would often talk and behave like him. He would also observe ‘maun vrat’ sometimes.
From investigation and questioning of neighbours and relatives, the police found nothing unusual about the family’s behaviour leading to the doomed day. Preparations were made for the next day’s food, milk was kept in the fridge, mobile phones were recharged the previous day and on the eventful night the family had ordered 20 butter rotis.
This led the police to believe it was a case of “shared psychosis”.
“Shared psychosis means that delusional beliefs are transmitted from one person to another. In this case, it is suspected that Lalit Bhatia, 45, was the one who had the delusion of talking to his father even after his death. And his beliefs were endorsed by other family members too,” a police officer said.
Suicide pact over COVID fears in Madurai
Earlier this year in January, a woman, her son, mother and two brothers consumed poison allegedly due to fear of COVID-19.
According to the police, Jothika (23), along with her 3-year-old son, was living with her mother after separating from her husband. Her two brothers also lived with them. Since Jothika’s father died last year of natural causes, the family was finding it hard to cope with the loss.
After Jothika was found positive for COVID-19, the family feared it would impact their livelihood.
According to the Times of India, the entire family then decided to commit suicide by consuming cow dung powder.
While Jothika and her son died before the police could reach the spot, her mother and one brother were shifted to the hospital in critical condition. Another of her brothers was declared safe.
Vadodara suicide pact under financial stress
A family of six in Gujarat’s Vadodara attempted suicide in March last year, allegedly due to financial stress.
According to The Indian Express, the Vadodara city police control room received a phone call from Bhavin Soni, 24, informing that he along with his five family members had consumed soft drinks laced with pesticides.
The members included – Narendra,48, Dipti, 45, Urmi, 22, Riya, 21, and Parth, 3, police said. The deceased include Narendra, his daughter Riya and Parth –son of Bhavin and Urmi.
When the police reached their home, three persons had already succumbed, including a three-year-old boy. Three others, including Bhavin, were in a grave condition.
With inputs from agencies
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