A mother-daughter duo in Neyyattinkara, a southern suburb of Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, set themselves ablaze on Tuesday fearing the confiscation of their home by a bank on account of loan default. Both succumbed to their injuries later.
While, the mother, Lekha (44), was undergoing treatment at the Medical College in Thiruvananthapuram with serious burns, her daughter, a 19-year-old student, had passed away earlier today.
Protests by locals and family members broke out in front of their Neyyattinkara home after the suicide bid came to light earlier Tuesday. The daughter Vaishnavi was pursuing a BBA course.
“The family had taken a loan from the Neyyattinkara branch of the Canara Bank. When the time-frame for repaying the loan ended, the bank proceeded to attach the home of the family. Some time ago, I had intervened in the matter and had spoken to bank officials to extend time for the family to repay the loan. The bank officials had backed away then. Today, after this incident, I’m hearing that the bank officials had informed the family on Monday that they would attach the property today,” CK Hareendran, the local MLA, told reporters.
“This is inhuman on the part of officials of nationalised banks. They could have given the family more time. This is a tragedy,” he said.
The family had reportedly taken out a loan of Rs 5 lakh, 15 years ago, which accumulated to Rs 7.80 lakhs with interest over the course of time. Recently, the family had asked for more time to repay the loan and even pondered about selling off the property to clear the debt.