Three members of a family attempted suicide by consuming sleeping pills and slitting their wrists after failing to repay the huge debts they accrued through ‘kanduvatti’ (usury), here on Thursday night.
The victims, Gloria (54), her son Dominic (24) and daughter Nancy (22), residents of Perambur, were battling for life at the Government Stanley Hospital on Friday.
Police said the trio took the extreme step when Gloria’s husband, John Bosco (57), working as a night watchman at a private school in Sriperumbudur, was at work. According to sources, Gloria had taken a credit of Rs 5 lakh from some moneylenders at a staggering interest rate of `50,000 per month three years ago. She had been repaying the amount without Bosco’s knowledge.
However, recently, Gloria defaulted on paying the interest and gradually the unpaid interest, along with the principal sum, accrued to an outstanding amount of `21 lakh.
One of the lenders reached Gloria’s house to collect the money on Wednesday night, following which an altercation broke out that culminated with the moneylender hurling abuses against Gloria and her children.
The moneylender visited the family again on Thursday morning, this time with a group of henchmen in tow, and threatened to throw the family out of the house, threatening to confiscate all the articles in the house. After this, the three reportedly decided to end their lives.
“They consumed sleeping pills. When they found it ineffective, they slit their wrists,” said an investigating officer. He said Nancy, who could not endure the pain, called her uncle, who rushed to the house and moved the three to the hospital.