A written note recovered from spot has reportedly mentioned family dispute and financial hardship.
The recovery of a written note from a shack in Jodhpur district’s Lodta village, where 11 members of a family of Pakistani Hindu migrants were found dead on Sunday, has suggested that one of the deceased, trained as a nurse, gave sedatives and injected everyone with poison, before taking her own life.
Preliminary investigation by the police found that the injections were given in a professional manner probably by a daughter of the head of the family, who also injected the poison through a cannula later in her leg. The absence of injury marks on the victims’ bodies ruled out the possibility of mass suicide.
The note reportedly mentioned a family dispute and the financial hardship because of which the extreme step was taken. Jodhpur Rural Superintendent of Police Rahul Barhat said on Monday that while the cause of death would be established through post-mortem, there was enough circumstantial evidence in the shape of recovery of pesticide, sedatives and empty vials from the spot.
Police have registered a first information report under Section 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code, based on the complaint of Kewal Ram, the sole survivor in the family, against his in-laws. Mr. Kewal Ram and one of his deceased brothers were married to two girls from a Bheel tribal family in Jodhpur and had some differences with their in-laws.
Mr. Kewal Ram claimed that he had survived because he went out in the night to the fencing of his farm to guard the crops from animals. He drifted into sleep at the farm and saw the bodies when he returned to the hut on Sunday morning.
The victims’ family had migrated from Sanghar district in Pakistan’s Sindh province in 2015, a year after the in-laws’ family came from the same place, and settled in Jodhpur. All of them were waiting for fulfilling the conditions for applying for Indian citizenship, as the citizenship law requires the completion of seven years of staying in the country.
The bodies were cremated on Monday with the help of the district administration after their autopsy. The post-mortem reports would be examined by a team of medical experts and a thorough investigation conducted in the case, said the police.
Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, who represents the Jodhpur constituency in the Lok Sabha, has demanded urgent action to solve the case and said the deaths had put a question mark on the State government’s efficiency. “One after the other, very frightening incidents reflecting the deteriorating situation of the State are coming to the fore,” he said.