PUDUKKOTTAI: A 70-year-old man from Panankulam in Alangudi allegedly poisoned his 48-year-old daughter before taking his own life on Wednesday evening.
Police believe the man, Chellaiya, killed his daughter Shanthi, who had intellectual disabilities, as he was worried about providing for her.
Chellaiya allegedly mixed poison in their food, fed her and consumed it. Neighbours heard the daughter’s screams and rushed them to the hospital, but in vain.
Chellaiya reportedly had a drinking problem. A farm labourer, he did not have any income over the past few days. His wife had died a few years ago.
Police said that he resorted to murder-suicide as he was worried about providing for his daughter. A case has been registered and police are investigating the case.
Activists have raised concerns about the lack of community support for persons with disabilities and caregivers even in villages.
“I’m deeply upset. It shows that our culture has changed and there is very little community support,” Senthil Kumar, founder, Anbalayam, said.
“Societal support is essential for everybody. There is a district mental health number that everyone can contact. I hope neighbours and relatives help out persons with intellectual disabilities in the future. All they have to do is go to the local Village Administrative Officer or police and they will help,” he said.
(If you are having suicidal thoughts, or are worried about a friend or need emotional support, someone is always there to listen. Call Sneha Foundation - 04424640050 (available 24x7) or iCall, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences' helpline - 02225521111, which is available Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 10 pm.)