Police have arrested 13 people on charges of abetment of suicide of nine members of a family of two brothers in Maharashtra’s Sangli district, an official said on Tuesday.
The two brothers – one of them a teacher and the other a veterinarian – and seven of their other family members were found dead on Monday at two separate homes of the siblings in Mhaisal village of Sangli district, police had said.
Suicide notes were found at the homes, located 1.5 km apart in the village, over 350 km from the state capital Mumbai, they had said. A preliminary probe suggested the two brothers had heavily borrowed money from various people, police said.
Addressing a press conference, Sangli Superintendent of Police Dikshit Gedam said, “The contents of the suicide notes indicate the family had borrowed money from some people and they were finding it difficult to repay it.” “As they were humiliated for it, they took the extreme step,” the official said. Prima facie, it looks like they had taken the loan for some business, he said.
“We have already registered a case against 25 people from whom the family had taken money. The family was harassed and humiliated by these people, who forced them to take the extreme step,” he said.
Out of these 25 people, the police have so far arrested 13 people under Indian Penal Code Sections 306 (abetment of suicide), 341 (wrongful restraint), and relevant sections of the Maharashtra Money Lending (Regulation ) Act and the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the official said. Some of the arrested accused already have cases related to money lending against them, he said.
Police teams have been formed to trace the other accused in the case, he added. Asked if all the family members consumed a poisonous substance together, the official said they were still conducting a probe into what and how they consumed. “The cause of the death is still reserved and what substance was used is under investigation,” he said.
When asked if there are any superstition angle to the case, the official said so far debt is the prima facie reason behind the incident, but the case will be probed from all angles.