Mumbai: Family of four commits suicide over girl's sexual harassment

Feb 22, 2015, 08:30 IST | Shirish Vaktania

25-year-old house help's employer would constantly abuse her sexually, beat her 20-year-old brother up; the siblings' mother, step-father killed themselves shortly after their deaths

In a shocking incident, a family of four has committed suicide in Oshiwara. The deceased are Somnath Kartik Pal (20), Bharti Pal (25), and their stepfather Manoj Ajitkumar Patel (50) and mother Sikha Pal (45).

Shirshira apartments where the bodies of the siblings were found

Bharti and her brother Somnath used to work as house helps at Tinku Singh's house at Oshiwara's Shishira building, where both their bodies were found hanging from the ceiling on Friday evening. Singh allegedly harassed Bharti sexually and even physically abused Somnath. Unable to bear the ordeal any longer, the brother-sister duo decided to take this drastic step. They spoke to their parents and gave them the suicide note before coming back to Singh’s house, where the two stayed.

Senior inspector Subhash Vele of Oshiwara police station said: “On Friday at around 3.30 pm the siblings told Singh and his sisters, who were staying with him, to go inside the room so that they could clean the house. They then locked the door of the room and recorded a video narrating the ordeal before committing suicide.”

The accused and his family had no clue about the goings on and thought that the duo must have locked them to rob the house. They asked for the watchman's help who then broke open the main door, which was locked from inside, and found Bharti and Somnath’s bodies hanging from the ceiling.

The sibling's mother Sikha had recently got married to Manoj and the couple lived in Lokhandwala’s Montana building. After the death of Bharti and Somnath, police went to their flat but found the door locked. Later on Saturday monrning when the police went back to the house and found it still locked, they broke the door and found Sikha’s and Manoj’s bodies hanging from the
kitchen ceiling.

Cops have retrieved the suicide note and the videotaped message and arrested Singh under section 306 of the IPC for abetment of suicide.

In the videotaped message, Bharti has said that Singh used to inappropriately touch her and had molested her several times. He also proposed marriage to her. Due to this constant harassment she wanted to end my life. While Somnath also corroborated his sister's version and added that he used to also beat him up and unable to take this repeated abuse, he too was ending his life.

Case registered
According to police, Somnath had given this note to his mother and on reading it both Sikha and Manoj also decided to follow in the footsteps of their children. Officer Vele further said: “We have registered an accidental death case earlier but after retrieving the note and the video messages, we have now registered a sexual harassment and abetment to murder case against Singh. Investigation is still on.”

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