THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: “You will only carry my dead body from here.” According to Santhi, these were the words by Lekha when bank authorities came to ‘Vaishnavam’ last Friday to inform about the recovery proceedings. Lekha and her daughter Vaishnavi committed suicide by burning on Tuesday after the bank gave them an ultimatum of 3 pm.
Santhi resides opposite to ‘Vaishnavam’, where Lekha and her daughter Vaishnavi used to live. She was among the first respondents at the house when Krishnamma, Lekha’s mother-in-law raised an alarm after seeing smoke billowing from the house.
“Krishnamma was sitting here with Chandran (Lekha’s husband) and they were sharing their concern about the impending recovery. Meanwhile, Krishnamma went to her house and saw the smoke and called out her son. It was then that we came to know about the incident. No one had heard any sound from the house,” said Santhi.
“Lekha was a friendly person. But for the past few days, she was depressed. Whenever she shared her sorrows she used to mention suicide,” said Santhi. According to her, the plan of the family was to sell the house and remit the outstanding dues.
“Chandran (Lekha’s husband) was a Gulf returnee. When he was there everything was well with the family. But once he lost his job, the bank dues accumulated,” said Sadasivan, Santhi’s husband.
Meanwhile, as per local accounts, the family had a ray of hope after a broker informed them that a buyer had shown interest in the property. He was planning to hand over a token amount also. However, due to unknown reasons the man who promised the said amount didn’t turn up and forced Lekha and Vaishnavi to take the extreme step. Chandran, who talked to media said that they had tried their best to repay the dues and was planning to live happily at the new house which they were planning to build.
However, reports have also surfaced that the family had given a written statement to the bank to proceed with the recovery if they don’t settle the dues within the deadline. The statement was signed by Lekha and Vaishnavi.