Woman poisons son, kills self

Saritha, her husband were at odds over relationship with their families

Saritha (31) apparently administered poison to her son Zakir before committing suicide, police said.

The incident came to light when a friend of Asif Hussain, Saritha’s husband, went to the house in the afternoon and found the mother and the son dead. He informed Asif who rushed to the spot. In the meantime, police were also called in.

Asif, a software engineer in the City, and Saritha hail from Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh. The couple were classmates since their school days. Later, Asif pursued engineering whereas Saritha went for a BCom course.

After courting for sometime, they got married at Chittoor in 2003, against the wishes of their families who were opposed to the inter-religious alliance. Asif, however, managed to convince his parents. Saritha’s family, however, remained bitterly opposed to the marriage. They did not attend the wedding despite being invited. Saritha embraced Islam after the marriage.

All was not well in the couple’s marriage, till Zakir was born. His birth brought the two families closer and they forgot the past animosity. Saritha was said to be very obdurate and aggressive in her beliefs. She sought to keep a distance from her family as well as her in-laws.  

Asif, conversely, wanted to maintain relations with both the families. He wished to bring the two families closer and remove the ill-feelings between them.
This led to frequent quarrels between them. While Saritha was unflinching in her resolve and wanted Asif to toe the line, the latter chose to think otherwise.

At father’s house

A week ago, the couple went to Chittoor to attend a wedding. While Asif stayed at his father’s house, Saritha was put up at her father’s house. On Thursday, she returned to Bangalore without informing Asif, who came to know this only when he called
Arunachalam Pillai, his father-in-law.   

Accusing Asif of harassing Saritha, her family has a lodged a complaint of dowry harassment against him. Her sister Geetha, who lives in the City, said that Saritha struggled to keep the marriage afloat as the couple came from different cultural backgrounds. Besides, her in-laws would taunt her about everything.

“My sister tried to keep going. But when things became unbearable, she chose to end her life,” Geetha told Deccan Herald. Geetha said Saritha spoke to her moments before committing suicide. “She was perfectly normal and promised to visit me on Friday night,” Geetha added.

But she grew suspicious when Saritha did not call her. She also did not respond when Geetha called her. According to Geetha, the incident came to light when she went to Saritha’s house.

“My worst fears came true when I entered the house. Zakir was lying dead on the bed whereas Saritha was hanging from the fan,” Geetha said.

Asif, however, denies harassing his wife. He said Saritha was a very “adamant” woman and would not give in to any persuasion whatsoever. She wanted him to stay with her in Bangalore and not have any relation with either of the families. His efforts to convince her were in vain.

Asif says he was so disappointed with Saritha’s attitude that he decided to quit the job. Three days ago, he e-mailed his resignation to the company, he added.

“How can I harass her when she was the love of my life?” he told this newspaper.
According to Asif, his family had borne the expenses of the wedding. Saritha’s father, Pillai, is a retired engineer. Asif’s father is a retired professor. Hulimavu police have booked a case.  


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