May 15, 2011

INDIA: Empty nest syndrome - Elderly couple committed suicide

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AHMEDABAD, Gujarat / The Times of India / Times News Network / May 15, 2011

An elderly couple committed suicide at their residence in Jivraj Park on Saturday morning.

The couple, natives of Maharashtra, left behind a suicide note citing loneliness as the reason for taking the extreme step. The victims were identified as Dattatray Giri, 85, a former college principal, and his wife Bhavna, 82.

According to Vejalpur police, residents in Kesariyajinagar near Jivraj Park spotted smoke coming out of bungalow number 26 and raised an alarm. Ahmedabad Fire and Emergency Services (AFES) personnel broke open the door and entered the house.

Vejalpur police questioned neighbours of the couple who committed suicide

"We found couple in the bathroom of the ground floor at 11.30 am. They must have poured kerosene on themselves as we have recovered a half-empty can of kerosene from the spot. The couple had sustained more than 70 per cent burns as they were rushed to the VS Hospital for treatment. They succumbed to the burns and died within half an hour of being admitted," said an AFES official.

Vejalpur police station officials were informed about the incident. "We reached on the spot and identified the couple as Dattatray Giri and wife Bhavna. Giri was former principal of Akhandanand Ayurvedic College in the city and had settled here for more than two decades," said a Vejalpur police station official.

"The couple had two sons - the elder son is settled in the US and is a practicing doctor while the younger son is a lecturer at an agricultural university in Nagpur. The sons used to visit the couple now and then. The couple did not have many local contacts and used to keep to themselves as per nearby residents," said JH Jalu, inspector of Vejalpur police station.

He added that police have found a suicide note kept in the house by the couple that is written in Marathi. "Giri has written that he has no qualms in life and they are committing suicide after battling with loneliness for years together. They did not blame anyone for their act and have named their grandchildren as heirs for their property," said Jalu.

Copyright © 2011 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.