Family of four found dead; failure in chit fund venture likely cause

Perumbavoor: In a tragic incident, a family of four was found hanging in their house at Chelamattom, Okkal in Ernakulam district of Kerala. Biju (46), son of Parappurathukudy Padmanabhan Nair of Okkal; his wife Ambily (39) of Mankuzhikkal, Vannapuram; and their children Aditya (15) and Arjun (13) were the deceased. According to the police, they committed suicide following debts caused by the failure of a chit fund venture they had launched. Meanwhile, two suicide notes written by the family were found on the wall of the neighbouring house.

The incident came to light when a woman living in the neighbourhood reached Biju’s house to buy milk. The family had started rearing cows and selling milk after their chit fund faced financial problems. When the neighbours broke open the door, Biju and his son were found hanging in the living room, while his wife and daughter were in the bedroom.

“The suicide notes and some scribbling on the wall indicate that the family took their own lives following financial troubles,” said Perumbavoor Deputy Superintendent of Police K Bijumon.

He said that the deceased family conducted a chit fund business and reared cows to earn a living. However, three years ago, the chit fund ran into financial trouble. “Soon, members of the chit fund began creating a ruckus at Biju’s house demanding their money back,” said ward member K M Shiyaz.

Biju had reportedly lent money received from chit fund members to others at higher interest rates, but could not recover it, leading to his problems. Local people said that several people owed Biju large amounts of money. Similarly, he also owed other people significant sums.

In a diary, Biju had noted down the names of around 50 people, who were his creditors and debtors. The names of those who threatened him were also noted. Incidentally, Biju had informed his creditors that he would clear all payments by Thursday.

Neighbours also said that Biju had also entered into a dispute recently with his brother over felling a tree. One suicide note recovered was addressed to the SNDP Sakha Yogam and it also contained a gold earring and locket belonging to Biju’s daughter. The note said that the last rites of the family had to be conducted by selling this jewellery and relatives should not be involved. Biju’s family also demanded in the note that their bodies should not be shown to relatives.

A few days ago, the family had visited the anganawady where the children studied earlier and took pictures with the teacher. They also went to some temples. Biju was active on social media till 3am on the day of the tragedy and had sent messages such as ‘Hai’ and ‘Sorry’ to some friends.

Aditya was a Class 10 student and Arjun was in Class 7 at Kanchi Sankara School, Kalady. After COVID-19 tests and autopsy, the bodies would be cremated at SNDP crematorium, Okkal.

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