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Two years on, police make no headway in mass suicide of Hindu migrants from Pakistan in Jodhpur

On August 9, 2020, 11 members of the family were found dead at their farm in Lodta village

PTI Jodhpur Published 09.09.22, 09:48 PM
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Two years after 11 members of a family of Hindu migrants from Pakistan were found dead at a farm in Rajasthan's Jodhpur district, police are yet to conclude what drove them to take the extreme step.

Jodhpur SP (Rural) Anil Kayal said it is confirmed that it was a mass suicide but police have not found direct involvement of those whose names had been mentioned by two of the family members in their video clip and note.


He, however, said the case has not reached the stage of filing chargesheet as the investigation into it is going on.

On August 9, 2020, 11 members of the family were found dead at their farm in Lodta village.

The deceased were identified as Budharam Bheel (75); his wife Antara Devi; son Ravi (31); daughters Jiya (25) and Suman (22); grandsons Mukdash (17) and Nain (12); Laxmi (40) and three minor sons of Kewal Ram, the surviving member of the family.

It is believed that Laxmi and Priya were practising nurses and they administered poison laced injections to all after giving them some psychotropic drug mixed in the dinner. They both are the under signatory of the note.

Police had found some chemical and injectable vials from the hut leading the police to believe that some poisonous substance had been administered to all those who died.

They were Hindu migrants from Pakistan and belonged to the Bhil community and had been living on the farm in the village, which they had hired for farming.

Police had also found a note written in Hindi and a video created by the daughters, mentioning the threats from some of the community members (or leaders) and harassment by police.

They have not held anyone directly responsible for this suicide till now, nullifying the audio and written accounts, but said the investigation is not yet over.

There were reports of a family dispute with two daughters-in-law (wives of Kewlaram and Ravi), who had been living with their parents instead of husbands.

The investigation revealed that besides the dispute and ensuing police cases, the family was also under stress due to expiry of their visa.

"All these reasons coupled with strained relations with the wives' families and some community leaders seemed to have pushed them to take this extreme step," a police officer said.

Hindu Singh Sodha, who heads the Seemant Lok Sangathan, an organization working for the rights of Hindu migrants from Pakistan, alleged police laxity in investigating the suicide. He claimed that this was an example that this community was being subjected to injustice in India.

"These people have come to India with extreme hope but unfortunately, they are not being treated well here," Sodha alleged, adding Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who had visited the spot to express condolences, "had assured of a CBI investigation, if we were not satisfied with the police investigation".

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