MADURAI: Residents of Thenur woke up to a sad Wednesday morning as three members of a family committed suicide unable to bear the mental illness of their 32-year-old son.
Sources said that an elderly couple K Kuzhaindavivel (60) and K Dhanapandiammal (55), both daily wagers, were upset with their son K Palpandi’s (32) mental illness and the perceived social stigma associated with it for some time. On Wednesday they poisoned Palpandi before ending their own lives
Police said that a suicide note recovered from their house read that the three were committing suicide because of their son’s mental illness and held no one accountable for the decision.
Palpandi, a B Com graduate who worked as an accountant at a milk society, began showing symptoms of mental illness two years ago. Neighbours, who found the bodies inside their house, said that the couple were lying dead with their son in between, all dressed in their good clothes.
“They must have killed the son first. After ensuring that he is dead, they must have consumed the poison themselves,” a neighbour said.
Their daughter M Sumathi, who had settled in Pallapatti village in Dindigul, said that she received a bewildering call from her mother on Tuesday night.
“She spoke in detail about her debts, jewellery and wished me and my family all well. When I asked why she was telling me all that, she said everything was fine. Had I guessed they were up to this, I would have rushed here,” she said.
L Murugesan, Sumathi’s husband, said that Palpandi was treated as an in-patient at the Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) for a month and showed some improvement. However, after returning home he allegedly threw away the medicines claiming that he had no illness.
When the illness relapsed, instead of approaching the doctors, the family turned into faith healing by visiting temples and even stayed in the Ervadi dargah, the neighbours said.