Couple poison children, commit suicide in Tripura

Representative image.

A couple allegedly committed suicide in West Tripura district after poisoning their two children, police said on Sunday.

The incident has triggered a political slugfest in the state, with the CPI(M) and the Congress blaming it on unemployment and starvation, while the ruling BJP accusing the erstwhile Left Front rule for its alleged failure to implement poverty eradication measures.

"Prima facie, it seems 40-year-old Paresh Tanti and his 36-year-old wife Sajani had poisoned their five-year-old daughter Rupali and 11-year-old son Bishal and then hung themselves to a tree near their house in Sanyasipara village on Friday night," Superintendent of Police Manik Das told PTI.

Police recovered the bodies on Saturday and sent them for post-mortem.

"Tanti had taken loans from two financial institutions and was unable to pay the installments. He had also bought a piece of land, but could not obtain the deed papers. We are investigating the case," Das said.

The CPI(M), in a statement issued on Sunday, alleged that the incident happened due to a lack of work and food.

"The couple was forced to commit suicide after poisoning their kids. The state is reeling under an acute shortage of work and food since the BJP-IPFT government came to power. There have been incidents of children being sold and hungry people hitting the streets," it said.

The CPI(M) alleged that beneficiaries of the area where the incident took place had not availed even a day's work under MGNREGA since Durga Puja festivities.

It said a two-member delegation of the party led by former state minister Pranab Debbarma had visited the area on Saturday.

"Paresh Tanti had borrowed Rs 80,000 from financial institutions but was unable to pay the installments due to lack of work. On the other hand, because of the absence of earnings, his children and wife remained without food," the CPI(M) statement said.

A Congress delegation led by Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) convener Subal Bhowmick also visited the area on Sunday.

"They have died due to poverty. There is no employment in rural areas. Moreover, Tanti had a burden of bank loans which he could not repay. We urge the BJP-IPFT government to generate more jobs to save the poor from starvation," Bhowmick told reporters.

BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya, on the other hand, put the blame of the deaths on the erstwhile Left Front government.

"The BJP-led government's emphasis has been on strengthening the rural economy and work is being provided under MGNREGA.

"If the Tanti family had died of poverty then CPI(M) should be made responsible for it because, in their 25 years of rule, they did very little for eradicating it. We are trying to improve the situation," he said.

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