4 of Endosulfan victim's family end lives

An Endosulfan victim, his parents and brother committed suicide by jumping into two lakes in Belthangady taluk of the district in wee hours of Thursday.

The police gave the names of the dead as Babu Gowda (62), his wife Gangamma (55), sons Sadananda (32) and Nithyananda (30). They were residents of Aaladka at Kokkada village. While Sadananda was an Endosulfan victim, Nithyananda was said to be depressed after he met with an accident recently.

While Nithyananda’s body was found in a lake, about 200 metres from their house, the bodies of the other three were found in a lake, right in front of their house. The couple’s other son Dayananda works in Mangaluru.

Babu Gowda, a farmer, too was said to be depressed as Sadananda was an Endosulfan victim and Nithyananda was not able to work after he met with an accident. Babu Gowda had tried to commit suicide last week by jumping into the lake. However, he survived. Two days later, he tried to kill himself again by consuming poison, but he survived as he was rushed to a hospital in time. Subsequently, his family members tried to counsel him on Wednesday.

It is said that Nithyananda had left home on Wednesday noon after telling his parents that he would commit suicide. As he could not be traced till late evening, his parents and brother might have taken the extreme step by jumping into the lake right in front of their house, the police suspect.

The Dharmasthala police have registered a case based on a complaint by the victims’ relative Ravi Kumar.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah termed the incident unfortunate. “The victims did not have to take the extreme step when the state government is already carrying out relief measures by implementing various schemes for Endosulfan victims,” he told reporters at Mangalore International Airport.

Udupi-Chikkamagaluru MP Shobha Karandlaje blamed the state government for the incident. “Though many schemes were started by the BJP government led by B S Yeddyurappa for the welfare of Endosulfan victims, the present government has ignored them,” she said. The “negligent” attitude of the state government has resulted in the entire family committing suicide, she added.

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