Three members of a family allegedly committed suicide in Virudhunagar district by consuming poison on Monday. The victims have been identified as N. Inba Moorthi, 69, of Krishna Street, RS Nagar, Virudhunagar, his wife Thilagavathi, 62, and their son Kannan, 40.
While Inba Moorthi and Kannan succumbed to the poison and died on the spot, Thilagavathi, who was found battling for her life, was taken to Virudhunagar Government Hospital and from there she was referred to Madurai Government Rajaji Hospital. However, she was declared brought dead, according to sources.
Soolakarai Inspector of Police M. Hariharan, after the inquiry, said the family suffered heavy loss in the coriander business and that could be the reason behind the suicide.
Earlier, Inba Moorthy managed the mill, but since he became old, his son Kannan was looking after the business.
Meanwhile, it is said that M.S. Manickavel of Virudhunagar, a commission agent, who brokered a deal between the mill and the coriander sellers in Gujarat and Rajasthan, had allegedly defrauded Kannan of Rs.50 lakh. Moreover, Manickavel forged blank cheques and swindled the money, causing heavy loss to the mill proprietor.
Manickavel used to procure large quantity of coriander (malli) variety from other states to meet the requirements of the processing mill at Virudhunagar. Due to Manickavel’s fraudulent activities, Kannan had faced prosecution in the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate in Keshod, Junagadh district of Gujarat.
Unable to bear the loss and felt embarrassed, Kannan, along with his father and mother, took rat poison. The victims were found lying down with froth spilling from their mouth.
A suicide note was recovered from the spot. Besides, two one-and-a-half litre soft drink empty bottles, empty silver utensil, two empty covers of poisonous tablets and a bag with the company-sealed cover were also recovered from other sides of the mill, Inspector Hariharan said.
According to Pugal Raj, 64, complainant and brother of Inba Moorthy, normally advance cheques would be given to brokering agents to procure ‘malli’ varieties from other states and once payments were made to the sellers, such advance cheques would be withdrawn.
Eight months ago, Manickavel had demanded an advance cheque citing that ‘malli could be procured at the cheapest price. Over the last few months, consignments of ‘malli’ were not delivered citing increase in price of the commodity. Subsequently, a letter insisting ‘stop payment’ on the cheque was forwarded to a bank. Irked over this, Manickavel, along with his family members, threatened Kannan of dire consequences, the complainant said.
However, Soolakarai police have booked a case against four as accused in the case, including Manickavel and his family members, under Sections 406, 420, 506 (ii) and 306 of the IPC. The accused are absconding, the sources said.