Four of family found dead in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram: A family of four was found dead in their home in Kottayam district, on Friday, in an apparent incident of murder-suicide.

A couple identified as Mukalel Sinoj, 42, his wife Nisha, 35, and their two sons, Sooryathejas, 12 and Sivathejas, 7, were found dead in their rented home at Vayala near Ettumanoor on the outskirts of Kottayam.

The incident occurred at a time when the state mental health authority is embarking on a project to create a data-based mechanism to closely monitor suicide cases by identifying suicide hot spots and vulnerable categories. The objective is to create effective suicide prevention strategies.

Police suspect that Sinoj may have killed himself after murdering his family members. While the incident happened, a differently-abled youth who is a relative of the family, was also in the house, but police believe he was not aware of the gory happenings that were going on in the house.

Neighbours of the family said financial problems may have driven Sinoj to take the extreme step. They said he had been running a finance company in partnership with a friend, who passed away recently. Some local residents said Sinoj had been devastated following the death of his business associate, and that the business was not doing well.

Earlier this week, a mother-daughter duo were burnt to death at a house near Edappal in Malappuram district in an apparent suicide attempt. The deceased were identified as Thara, 28 and her daughter Amekha, 6.

State mental health officials feel that mental health strategists and policymakers are currently handicapped for want of comprehensive data on suicides and attempted suicides.

The data being collected now is expected to significantly help policymakers because it will contain details about the reason for each suicide and also give a break-up of suicide incidents under various categories including gender, age group, occupation and other parameters.