THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Ponnan and Leela had been at loggerheads for decades for various reasons, the relatives and neighbours of the deceased duo told TNIE on Friday. While a neighbour said Leela had alleged that Ponnan used to ill-treat her and that her life was in danger, one of Ponnan’s relatives said he had talked about committing suicide.
“Leela was sceptical over Ponnan’s retirement life and doubted him of having other relationships. The property dispute fuelled their already frequent fights. Ponnan would often leave the house and share his frustration with relatives and friends. Once, he told me that he had written a suicide note and will take extreme step,” said V Vinod, Ponnan’s nephew.
Since Leela was four years older than Ponnan, she used to take the lead in the house and tried to gain supremacy in day to day affairs, the relatives said.“Be it property bifurcation or any matter related to their two daughters, Leela’s word was final. This often led to fights. Hence, Leela shifted to their old house adjacent to the new one where the tragedy occurred,” said one of the relatives.
They said the couple’s daughters Anjali, aka Anju, and Ambili were also living separately from their husbands. While Anjali lived on the first floor of the new house, Ambili lived in the old house with Leela.
The neighbours said Leela shared her miseries of living with Ponnan and alleged he ill-treated her. “Leela told me she was in danger as Ponnan often treated her badly. She once said she was threatened by Ponnan,” said Vasanthakumari, secretary of local residents’ association.