Alcoholic son deprives parents of food, father dies of malnutrition

No food, none to care | Elderly man dies in Kottayam

Mundakayam: There is no end to repugnant crimes being reported from Kerala. In the latest shocker, an 80-year-old man has died of malnutrition as he was neglected by his son. The incident has been reported from Vandanpathal locality of Mundakayam in Kottayam district.

The deceased, Podiyan, and his wife Ammini,76, were staying with their alcoholic son Reji.

Podiyan suffered from malnutrition, the post-mortem report state.

The preliminary post-mortem report indicated that he had not consumed food or water for a long while. The internal organs were found to have shrunk and there were no signs of food having been consumed.

His viscera samples have been sent for testing to ascertain if he died of starvation. More tests would reveal if he was in a state to consume food.

The incident came to light when an ASHA (accredited social health activist) worker and palliative care members visited the house in Mundakayam in the district as part of their periodic inspection and informed the local representatives as well as the police.

The social workers, who arrived at the house on Tuesday morning, found the couple in a frail state. A drunk Reji was also at home then.

Reji was later taken into custody by the police.

The elderly couple was shifted to Kanjirapally General Hospital, where the 80-year-old father died.

As she was being taken to the hospital, his mother Amminni told her son, "Give some kanji vellam (water gruel) at least."

Amminni, who appeared to have mental health issues, was later admitted to the Kottayam Medical College Hospital. Podiyan could not be saved as he died soon.

Preliminary checks have revealed that the son did not care for his parents nor did he allow the neighbours to help them, said P P Chandrabose, district officer of the Social Justice Department.

Local people said that the elderly couple did not get food most of the time. A dog was also reportedly tied outside their room to prevent anyone from coming in.

The police announced that further action would be taken after they received the post-mortem report. The Collector has instructed the Sub-Collector to submit a report.

Podiyan's funeral was held on Wednesday.

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