Thiruvananthapuram: The cops have come up with new evidence that suggests the mother and daughter (Lekha and Vaishnavi) who had burnt themselves to death inside their house in Neyyattinkara on May 14 had been subjected to a prolonged bout of emotional torture by close family members.
Details of Lekha's plight were found in one of the two notebooks that the police had taken into custody from the house. “A team searched the house today for some book or paper to get a match for the writing on the suicide note,” a top police source in charge of the investigation said. A suicide note in three sheets of school notebook paper was seen pasted on the wall of the room in which the mother and daughter had immolated themselves.
“We found two notebooks. One has details of daily household transactions and nothing else. The other seems helpful as it has some personal writings by Lekha,” the source said. According to the police, Lekha had written that she was constantly nagged by Chandran (her husband) and Krishnamma (her mother-in-law) about the money Chandran had sent from the Gulf.
The police said this revealed that the family's financial distress was the source of constant bickering within the family. “Chandran believes that his wife had squandered the money he had made in the Gulf. It also looks like he was being instigated to take this stand by his mother Krishnamma,” the police source said.
The entries in the notebook provide the answer, too. “Lekha wrote that the money was spent on the education of the girl. We could gather from the notebook that the mother knew that the girl was highly ambitious and wanted to be a doctor. The girl is not satisfied with a mere degree and the mother was desperate to get her daughter whatever she wanted to achieve her goals,” the source said. (Source said Vaishnavi had appeared for the NEET). The diary, dated 2019, was written almost on all days in January and till February 6. This means that the emotional harassment had been going on for quite some time. “We are also trying to see whether there are more such diaries, older ones,” the police source said.
The police also said on the face of it the writing on the notebook and the suicide note looked similar. “However, we are sending the evidence for a scientific assessment and only then can we ascertain that the suicide note was written by Lekha,” the police source said.
The twin suicide was first seen as a case of fatal desperation in the face of bank attachment proceedings. Chandran and Krishnamma had given out statements that put the bank in the dock. Neighbours, too, had said that the bank officials had indeed harassed the family.
The line of investigation changed after the police found the suicide note the day after the deaths. However, it still remains a mystery why the suicide note, pasted so prominently on the wall, and a giant charcoal scribble on the same wall were missed by the police officials who entered the room on the day of the suicide.
Students at the White Memorial College in Panachamoodu, where Vaishnavi studied, also said she wanted to pursue MBBS course and become a doctor.
Good at her studies, Vaishnavi was also the college union vice-chairperson.
She had joined a coaching centre to prepare for NEET. She last came to college to get her certificates. She was confident she would get through the medical entrance. She was also the class leader.
Vaishnavi had also secured black belt in Karate. Her friends used to call her ‘Karate Vaishnavi’. She used to often talk about her mother with whom she was very close. However, when it came to her father, Vaishnavi refrained from talking much, her friends said.
Some of her classmates said Vaishnavi had been suffering from mental agony for the past several days. Vaishnavi had told a couple of her friends that their house could be taken over by the bank. She was scared she would lose her home. However, she never invited her friends home, saying that there were issues at her residence.