2 of family set themselves on fire over bank loan due

Vaishnavi, a degree student, died on the spot and her mother Lekha was battling for life

The incident happened near Neyyatinkara in the rural parts of Kerala capital Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday. Representative image

A 19-year-old girl died and her mother suffered severe burns after they reportedly decided to end their life by self-immolation owing to depression over the bank attaching their house over a loan default.

The incident happened near Neyyatinkara in the rural parts of Kerala capital Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday.

Vaishnavi, a degree student, died on the spot and her mother Lekha was battling for life at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College hospital.

Lekha’s husband Chandran, who earlier worked abroad, took a housing loan of Rs. 5 lakh in 2013 from a local branch of a nationalised bank. He defaulted on the repayment, following which the bank initiated legal actions.

Chandran agreed to pay Rs 6.8 lakh by Tuesday afternoon and also gave written consent to an advocate commission that attachment proceedings could be initiated in case of failure in paying the amount.

As Chandran, who is a carpenter, could not raise the money, his wife and daughter decided to take the extreme step. Though he tried to sell the house to settle the loans, he could not find prospective buyers.

Chandran told a section of media that the bank authorities were constantly contacting the family and pressing them to repay the dues and it was due to this pressure that his wife and daughter took the extreme step. He said he had already paid about Rs 7.8 lakh. Even when the bank was insisting on Rs 6.8 lakh more.

The police are likely to arraign bank officials in a case to be registered in this connection, especially in wake of widespread protests. However, bank authorities said that they only took the routine measures.

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