The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Debt trap in triple deaths

Driven by debt, pushed by poverty, three members of a family committed suicide by consuming pesticide at their home in Kasba late on Monday.

Nitya Ranjan Chakraborty, 73, wife Konika, 65, and son Aurobindo, 40, were found dead in one room of their Purbachal Road home early on Tuesday. They had bolted the door and windows before consuming one bottle of pesticide each. A suicide note signed by Aurobindo, a part-time employee with the Tikiapara railway yard, stated that “huge debts and poverty” had forced the family to take the final step.

Neighbours, led by landlord Tapan Sanyal, broke open the main door to the two-room flat into which the Chakrabortys had moved last month, and discovered the tragedy. The sole surviving member of the family is daughter Mona, married a few years ago.

Police do not suspect foul play. Additional superintendent of police (industrial), South 24-Parganas, Rajesh Kumar Singh said: “Debts forced the Chakrabortys to commit suicide. Every month, they had to pay Rs 10,000 to 15,000 to repay loans.”

Nitya Ranjan, a retired railway employee, had also drawn on most of his savings to try and set up his son’s business. On Tuesday, Aurobindo’s friends testified to the police that he had tried his hand at various business ventures but failed.

Preliminary investigations revealed that Aurobindo had stepped out late on Monday afternoon, only to bring home cans of pesticide. Around 7 pm, Aurobindo made some calls from a local phone booth, including one to a kabuliwallah, Asgar Khan, whom he owed Rs 30,000. “Aurobindo asked Khan to come to his house at night and collect his dues, as the family would soon leave the city,” police said.

Khan, however, turned up on Tuesday night, only to be told of the triple suicide. “They could have repaid me later,” lamented Khan, referring to the money Aurobindo had borrowed for his sister’s wedding.

Landlord Sanyal said Nitya Ranjan had agreed to pay Rs 5,000 as security deposit, but managed only Rs 3,000. “Two days ago, I reminded Nitya Ranjan about the remaining amount. He said he would vacate the flat soon and that I need not worry about returning the deposit,” Sanyal added.

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