The Vijayawada police on Monday, January 10, booked a case against four financiers whose alleged harassment drove a family of four to die by suicide in the city two days ago on Saturday, January 8. The victims, hailing from Nizamabad in Telangana, were earlier identified as Pappula Suresh (56), Srilatha (54), and their sons Akhil (28) and Ashish (24). On the basis of a selfie video recorded by Suresh, the police registered a case of abetment of suicide against the financiers and took up the investigation.
A police team has been sent to Telangana to arrest the financiers â€” Ganesh, Vineeta, Chandrasekhar and Gnaneswar. The accused from Nizamabad and Nirmal towns of Telangana are reportedly absconding after the selfie video of Suresh became public. Suresh, a businessman and native of Nizamabad, alleged in the video that the harassment by the financiers for repayment of loans and interest drove the family to suicide.
Suresh ran a medical store in Nizamabad while Akhil leased a petrol filling station. Ashish was a B Pharmacy student and Srilatha a homemaker. The family arrived in Vijayawada on January 6 and stayed in a choultry. Around 2 am on Saturday, January 8, Srilatha sent a voice message to her brother over WhatsApp that they were ending their lives.
The brother, who heard the message early in the morning, called the choultry management, who in turn alerted the police. The police opened their room only to find the mother and son dead, according to Assistant Commissioner of Police Hanumantha Rao. A search later revealed that the father and another son had also died, and their bodies were retrieved from the Krishna river.
A day after their death, their relatives alleged that the harassment by some financial institutions drove them to suicide. Police investigation found a suicide note, mentioning the names of those who harassed them to recover the loans.
Suresh also sent a selfie video to his relatives explaining the reasons for the suicides. Suresh alleged that Gnaneswar mounted pressure on him to pay Rs 40 lakh and threatened that if he failed to repay the amount, his house would be seized, according to IANS.
Suresh said Ganesh too harassed him though he had paid him Rs 82 lakh. Suresh had borrowed the money for business after suffering losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He said he had been paying huge interests to the financiers, but they continued harassing him. He also claimed that there were many victims like him.
This is the second such incident in a week. A 45-year-old businessman, his wife and their teenage daughters died by suicide at their house in Paloncha in Telangana's Bhadradri Kothagudem district on January 3. In suicide notes and selfie video, later recovered by police, the businessman
Naga Ramakrishna said that they had been harassed by Vanama Raghavendra Rao, son of Kothagudem MLA Vanama Venkateswara Rao, when asked to mediate in their favour in a family property dispute.
Ramakrishna also blamed his mother and his sister saying they tried to do injustice to him in sharing the property. After evading arrest for a few days, Raghavendra was finally apprehended on January 7. A court on Saturday, January 8, sent him to judicial custody for 14 days.
Read: 4 days, 9 teams, 2 states: How Telangana cops nabbed TRS MLAâ€™s absconding son
With PTI and IANS inputs
If you are aware of anyone facing mental health issues or feeling suicidal, please provide help. Here are some helpline numbers of suicide-prevention organisations that can offer emotional support to individuals and families.
State health department's suicide helpline: 104
Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre - 044-24640050 (listed as the sole suicide prevention helpline in Tamil Nadu)
Life Suicide Prevention: 78930 78930
Roshni: 9166202000, 9127848584
Sahai (24-hour): 080 65000111, 080 65000222
Maithri: 0484 2540530
Chaithram: 0484 2361161
Both are 24-hour helpline numbers.
State government's suicide prevention (tollfree): 104
Roshni: 040 66202000, 6620200
SEVA: 09441778290, 040 27504682 (between 9 am and 7 pm)
Aasara offers support to individuals and families during an emotional crisis, for those dealing with mental health issues and suicidal ideation, and to those undergoing trauma after the suicide of a loved one. 24x7 Helpline: 9820466726. Click here for working helplines across India.