A father and his family members from Nawada district in India reportedly consumed poison, resulting in their death, after loan sharks harassed them due to unpaid debt.
The victims were the 50-year-old fruit vendor Kedar Lal, his 47-year-old wife Anita Devi, daughters Shabnam Kumari, 20, Gudia Kumari, 17, Sakshi Kumari, 15, and son Prince, 16.
All six family members were transported to the Sadar hospital, where four died on Wednesday, the Times of India reported. Meanwhile, Kedar and his youngest daughter, Sakshi, were brought to Vardhman Institute of Medical Sciences, Pawapuri; however, doctors could not save their lives due to their critical condition. Kedar died on Wednesday, while Sakshi was pronounced dead on Thursday.
The Station House Officer (SHO) of Nawada town police station Arun Kumar Singh said that Kedar had been managing a fruit stall in Vijay Bazaar, Nawada, for the last two decades. “He had taken a loan of Rs 12 lakh from moneylenders a couple of years ago to boost his sagging business. He also used to sell ‘chaat’ near his fruit stall to increase his income,” the SHO confirmed.
According to the SHO, Kedar went to a “mazaar” at Government Agriculture Farm at Sobhiapar with his other family members on Wednesday evening; all died by suicide.
In the earlier report of the Times of India, Kedar had reportedly asked for more time to pay the remaining debt. However, the moneylenders were reluctant to give him extra time and threatened him with a horrible outturn if he did not pay back immediately.
Nawada Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Upendra Prasad said that two of the six accused moneylenders were in the custody of the police – Ranjit Singh and Tuntun Singh Khatal.
The remaining four accused were named Manish Singh, Vikas Singh, Vijay Singh, and Pankaj Sinha. The authorities have conducted a search to arrest all the accused moneylenders.
“Kedar has written in the diary that he had repaid twice the amount he had borrowed from the moneylenders and sought an additional time of six months to repay the amount in full with interest. However, the moneylenders rejected his request and threatened him with dire consequences if he failed to repay the loan on time,” the SDPO said.
Kedar also has two married daughters and another son, Amit Gupta, who is said to be working in Delhi. “Amit has left for home from the national capital after hearing the shocking news,” the police said.
If you have thoughts of suicide, confidential help is available for free at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255. The line is available 24 hours, every day.