Couple end lives in suicide pact, slit son's throat; daughter unhurt

Neighbour says family head had 'incurable' disease, but police unsure

Couple end lives in suicide pact, slit son's throat; daughter unhurt

A couple from Nepal ended lives in a suicide pact by consuming a soft drink laced with a pesticide, moments after slitting the throat of their three-year-old son in their shed near Sulibele in Hoskote taluk. The couple’s five-year-old daughter was surprisingly left unharmed.

Shivaraj Joshi, 30, his wife Usha, 26, and their son Nikhil perished in what may be a suicide pact driven by the former’s despair over his “incurable” ill health. The couple’s daughter, Neelam, was found unharmed, sleeping on a cot nearby in the shed when the incident emerged on Thursday morning, police said.

Shivaraj Joshi was working as a security guard at Sumitra Polymers, a private company in Pillagumpe Industrial Area in Hoskote for the last eight years. The shed is located on the company’s premises.

Ansar Khan, a production manager at the company, said he found Usha lying dead about 10 metres from the shed when he turned up to report for work in the morning.

He then ran to the shed to alert Shivaraj Joshi but was instead stunned to find the latter lying dead there. More tragically, he found Nikhil with his throat slit. Neelam, however, was sleeping on the bed and surprisingly unharmed. She woke up then only to find her family had been wiped out. Khan said he then took her to safety and alerted the Sulibele police.

A senior police officer who visited the spot said that two soft drink bottles, along with a bottle of pesticide, had been found. Huge smell of the poison emanated from the shed and the victims’ bodies. It might have been a very concentrated poison, the officer added.

Police also found a kitchen knife beside Nikhil’s body. Blood stains were found on Shivaraj’s arms, suggesting that it was he who slit the child’s throat. A stench of poison also emanated from Nikhil’s body, police said, suspecting that he was also given a dose of the pesticide.

In a half-page suicide letter in Hindi, Shivaraj reportedly wrote that they were alone responsible for the death. Bangalore Rural Superintendent of Police, B Ramesh, said that Shivaraj did not elaborate on the factors that forced him to take the extreme step.

Ramesh suspected that the couple first consumed poison after the two children went to bed. Shivaraj executed his plans, by slitting Nikhil first. “We do not know about his intentions: whether he didn’t want to harm his daughter or otherwise,” Ramesh told Deccan Herald. “It is also possible that before he could kill her, the poison he had consumed started to numb his senses and annihilated him.”

While the motive of the suicide is unclear, it is said Shivaraj was depressed after being diagnosed with an incurable disease. Ravindranath, his colleague and neighbour, said Shivaraj was suffering from ill health for the last two months.

According to Ravindranath, the couple had gone for a medical check-up on Wednesday. Upon return, Shivaraj looked depressed, he said, adding that he tried to cheer him up. Shivaraj, Ravindranath went on, did not disclose anything about his health.

Ramesh said no medical record was found in the house to support the claim. Further investigation would reveal the circumstances that led the couple to take the extreme step.

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