Vatal Nagaraj's aide hangs self after wife, children end lives

Vatal Nagaraj's aide hangs self after wife, children end lives

Vatal Nagaraj's aide hangs self after wife, children end lives

A close aide of former MLA Vatal Nagaraj hanged himself after his wife and two teenage children ate food laced with poison and died in a suspected suicide pact at their home at Nagavarapalya in Baiyappanahalli here on Thursday.

Police are investigating what drove N Gopi and his family to suicide. His wife Jayashree, son Dilip Kumar and daughter Sangeetha first ate the food laced with poison. Once they died, Gopi placed flower petals on their bodies and hanged himself, police said.

He has left behind a two-page suicide letter, stating that nobody was responsible for their death. Gopi, who ran a CD-cum-Xerox shop near his house, was popular in the neighbourhood as a good Samaritan.

Kumar, a student of II PUC at Siddaganga College, Tumkur, had come home on Wednesday as he had fever. Gopi’s friends said he celebrated the birthday of Gundappa, a common friend, outside his house on Wednesday night.

They also said they saw him “hale and hearty” on Thursday morning when he made payment to a supervisor who was constructing his first-floor house in a three-storey building which he shared with his two brothers.

Gopi was, however, not seen thereafter and his shop was closed as well, raising suspicion among his friends. His brother Krishna and family, who stayed on the ground floor, had been to Tumkur.

Vasu, Gopi’s elder brother who stayed on the second floor, was away at work.
At that juncture, Gopi’s friends called up his relative Narayanaswamy for his whereabouts. Narayanaswamy then went to Gopi’s house but found it locked from inside. There was no response to his knocks on the door.

He repeatedly called Gopi on his mobile phone but the calls were not returned. Narayanaswamy, however, could hear the phone ringing in the house.

A restless Narayanaswamy then pushed the windowpane open only to find Gopi hanging from the ceiling fan in the hall. Kumar was lying dead on a cot. Narayanaswamy then called neighbours who helped him break the door open. They found Jayashree and Sangeetha dead in a bedroom.

The police inspector, who is investigating the case, said Gopi had written only about himself and his work in the suicide letter. “There is no mention of his financial problems, if any. It appears the family ended lives in a suicide pact,” he said, adding that it was being ascertained what poison was used.

While some neighbours asserted that Gopi had gone broke in the last few days, Krishna said his brother was “well-off”.

Kumar was a promising football player, a relative of the family said. Sangeetha was a student of Class 10 at Karnataka Bharatiya Vidya Niketan School at Devasandra.

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