Five people of a family living in Chathanpara, a small town near Kallambalam in Thiruvananthapuram, were found dead at their house in the early hours of Saturday, July 2. A man named Mani Kuttan and his family comprising his wife, an aunt, a son and a daughter, have passed away. The police have begun investigations and the bodies will be sent for postmortem at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College. It is not yet clear whether the deaths were by suicide.
Divya V Gopinath, rural Superintendent of Police, said that while the five people in the family were found dead, Mani Kuttanâ€™s mother was found alive in the same house, and she has been shifted to another house. At the time the SP spoke to the media, a forensic team was doing its investigations at the house, and an inquest was going on.
Mani Kuttan had owned a small eatery near his house. The five people who were found dead include a man who worked at the eatery. It was a worker of the eatery, along with a relative of the family that found the five people dead inside the house.
Reports quote neighbours and members of the tradersâ€™ organisation Vyapari Vyavasaya Samithi as saying that a recent inspection by the Food and Safety department had found the eatery lacking in hygiene, and ordered its closure until the conditions were improved. Sulaiman, of the Vyapari Vyavasaya Samithi, told Manorama News that he suspected the inspection and the fine they charged Mani Kuttan â€“ Rs 50,000 to be paid in four installments â€“ had led to the deaths.
However, other acquaintances and nearby traders said that they had not known of Mani Kuttan having any financial difficulties. Sulaiman said that most traders, including Mani Kuttan, would have suffered a loss when all the shops had to be closed for long periods due to COVID-19. The Manorama report also said that Mani Kuttan is believed to have built a new house nearby and had its house-warming ceremony performed last week.
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