Car with father and son rams into a tanker. Suicide or accident?

Prakash Devarajan and his son Shivdev. Photo: Manorama Online

What looked like an accident near Attingal in Thiruvananthapuram close to midnight on June 21, a speeding car ramming into a fuel tanker near Mamam bridge, is now suspected to be suicide. The father and son in the car - Prakash Devarajan, 49, and Shivadev, 11 - are said to have died on the spot.

Prakash and his son were travelling towards Kollam from Peroorkada in Thiruvananthapuram, where they stay, when the collision took place. The tanker driver has told the police that the car had purposefully crashed into the tanker. None of those in the tanker have suffered any serious injury. "It was clear that the tanker was travelling at less than modest speed," a top police officer said. The tanker was on its way to deliver fuel to the KSRTC depot in Thiruvananthapuram.

On the other hand, the car looked crushed. The mangled remains of the car had to be cut open to retrieve the occupants. Though they were rushed to the hospital, both were declared brought dead.

Besides the tanker driver's statement, two other factors point to suicide. One, the police could recover a suicide note from within the car. A police source said it was addressed to Prakash's daughter, and contained a slew of accusations against his wife Sasikala who was living abroad. The girl to whom the note was addressed was Sasikala's daughter from her first marriage.

The police was unwilling to reveal the contents of the suicide note except to say that the couple were not on good terms. The preliminary information gathered by the police suggest that theirs was a second marriage. Though the letter accuses Sasikala of doing things that had led him to such an extreme step, the police say the tone of the letter suggests that Prakash was close to Sasikala's daughter. He even asks her forgiveness. She is now in her ancestral house. The boy who died, Shivadev, was the couple's son.

The second sign of suicide was a Facebook post that Prakash is said to have written a few hours before he went out on the fatal night drive with his son. According to a police source who had seen the post, Prakash had listed five names, calling them "the people who were responsible for mine and my children's death". The pictures of some of these people were also uploaded along with the post.

According to the police, Prakash could have set off on the journey right after uploading the post. The police is still not sure whether Prakash had plans to meet Sasikala's daughter and take her along with him but had a sudden change of plan along the way. It is also not clear whether the suicide note was written after the journey began. The police will also probe whether this was an accident. he had written the suicide note on the way.

The police said that the five people whose names have been mentioned in the Facebook post will soon be interrogated. At the moment, it is also not clear whether these people are in Kerala or outside.

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