Bikaner- In Antyodaya Nagar of Rajasthan's Bikaner city, a tragic incident unfolded on Thursday evening, revealing a heart-wrenching tale of a family in despair. A couple and their three children chose to end their lives together, a discovery made when concerned neighbours, noticing the house locked from inside for two days, contacted the landlord. The incident took place under the Mukta Prasad police station area.
Upon breaking down the door, the lifeless bodies of Hanuman Soni (45), his wife Vimala (40), their sons Mohit alias Monu (17) and Rishi (15), and their daughter Guddu (13) were found hanging from nooses affixed to the ceiling in various rooms and the verandah. The stench of death permeated the air, and young Guddu displayed signs of foaming at the mouth, raising suspicions of possible poisoning before the tragic act.
Superintendent of Police Tejaswani Gautam said that Hanuman Soni, who had resided in a rented house in Antyodaya Nagar for the past eight to ten years, maintained a reclusive lifestyle, avoiding social interactions. He had severed ties with extended family, and even refrained from visiting his brothers and in-laws. Hanuman primarily engaged in gold studding work at home, with his son Mohit assisting him.
Preliminary investigations suggest that the family grappled with severe financial crises, shedding light on the challenges they faced. The Superintendent of Police emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating that the family had severed ties with their relatives. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been formed to delve deeper into the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident.
In a similar incident , on December 7th, at Kashi Kailash Bhawan Dharamshala in Varanasi, a family of four from Andhra Pradesh took their own lives in a mass suicide. The victims were identified as Konda Babu (50), Lavanya (45), Rajesh (25), and Jayaraj (23).
The shocking event, believed to be sparked by a financial dispute, has sent shockwaves through the community. The aftermath has left authorities grappling with the complex aftermath of such incidents, raising haunting memories of past tragedies like the Burari incident. These events prompt crucial questions about the underlying factors that drive families to take such harrowing paths.
The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) recently released its annual crime report, including the accidental deaths and suicides in India , on December 3rd. The data revealed a concerning increase in suicides, reaching 1,70,924 in 2022 compared to 1,64,033 in 2021. Additionally, accidental deaths rose to 4,30,504 in 2022 from 3,97,530 in 2021.
Notably, India reported its highest suicide rate in 2021, with 12 suicides per 100,000 people. However, experts suggest that the actual numbers could be even higher. A psychiatrist highlighted in September 2022 that underreporting might be attributed to various factors, including the lack of medical certification of deaths, the stigma associated with mental health, and the criminalization of suicides. This criminalization not only affects the reporting of suicides but, in some instances, also impacts the denial of insurance claims if the cause of death is suicide.
Tragic incidents of mass suicides in different parts of India in past few years depict the silent struggles families face. In Surat, Gujarat, seven members, including three young children, were found dead on October 28, 2023 with six consuming poisonous substances and one hanging. A suicide note pointed to financial issues. In Rajasthan's Udaipur district in November, a family of six faced a similar fate, with the father allegedly strangling his wife and three children before hanging himself. In Mhaisal village, Western Maharashtra, nine family members took their own lives in June 2022, emphasizing the recurring theme of financial woes and highlighting concerns about the mental health and societal pressures affecting families nationwide.
The increasing number of family suicides in India due to financial difficulties reveals how money problems deeply affect people's minds and family relationships. When families face long-lasting and severe money troubles, it can make emotions more intense, leading to sadness, hopelessness, and a feeling of being stuck. Families dealing with financial issues often feel embarrassed, not good enough, and overwhelmed with responsibilities. All these pressures together can make someone think that suicide is the only way out of overwhelming problems. It shows how important it is to understand and address the mental health impact of financial struggles on families.