In a new twist in the case relating to the suicide of a mother and her teenaged daughter in Neyyatinkara in Kerala, four family members, including the husband and mother-in-law, were arrested on Wednesday for alleged mental torture over dowry.
The family had alleged on Tuesday that the woman and her daughter had ended their lives, fearing attachment of their home and property over non-payment of loan arrears.
They had taken Rs 5 lakh home loan from Canara Bank's Neyyatinkara branch in 2005 and had repaid around Rs eight lakh so far. Some more amount was outstanding. The bank had denied pressurising the family, forcing the two women to end their lives.
Chandran had said on Tuesday that his 19-year-old daughter Vaishnavi and wife Lekha (43) had committed suicide due to continuous pressure from bank officials over non-payment of loan dues.
However, the case took a new turn after forensic and police officials found a three-page letter written by the mother-daughter duo pasted on the wall of the room in which they ended their lives, which pointed to family problems.
Thiruvananthapuram Rural Superintendent of Police B Ashok told reporters that four family members-- Chandran, his mother Krishnamma (80), her sister Shanta and husband Kashi were taken into custody this morning.
The four were arrested and a case for abetment to suicide was registered against them, he said.
Police said the suicide note, which has the signatures of the two women, has been sent for forensic tests.
There was no evidence against the bank as of now.
"We have not seen the bank documents", the official said. Ashok said Lekha stated in her suicide note that she was constantly mentally harassed for dowry by the four accused, especially her mother-in-law.
They used to perform black magic and Chandran never took any steps to prevent attachment of the house and property, the note stated.
Chandran, who had returned from the Gulf a few months back, wanted to get married again, the letter stated.
Lekha alleged that Krishnamma had tried to poison her and took her to a black magician, instead of a doctor.
Ashokan said the letter clearly stated that the duo committed suicide due to family problems.
It did not make any mention of the pressure put by the bank authorities.
"We got the letter this morning and it is being scientifically verified", he said.
Meanwhile, Youth Congress activists staged a demonstration in front of Canara Bank's office near Palayam this morning and raised slogans against the bank.
They later dispersed after television channels flashed reports about the contents of the suicide note.