In a shockingly tragic incident, a cloth trader allegedly killed his 14-year-old mentally disabled daughter Palak, hanging her with a fan before taking his own life in a similar fashion at his house in Ludhiana on Saturday.
Palak was a student of special children school on Kacha Malik road in Ludhiana district.
According to the statement made by the Cops, 42-year-old Mukesh Kumar Singla, loved his daughter immensely. He was, however, mentally disturbed because of Palak’s unstable behavior.
The cops confirmed that Mukesh had chosen to remain at home on the ill-fated Saturday, after his wife and son left. Mukesh, the police added, hung his daughter with a rope to a fan in the balcony outside the room on the first floor of his house before he decided to kill himself in a similar fashion inside his room with the ceiling fan.
The incident is said to have taken place at around 12.30 in the afternoon.
Cops said that after his wife and son returned from respective schools, they were shocked to see Mukesh and Palak hanging. The wife called out for the tenants living on the ground floor of their house, who assisted in bringing down the bodies.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Kawaldeep Singh Bajwa, reached the spot and a probe in the matter was immediately initiated.
Senior superintendent of police (SSP), Ludhiana Rural Surjeet Singh, said that Mukesh was extremely worried about his growing daughter’s future as she was mentally not fit.
Quoting family members, the SSP said that he was under depression because of mental problem of his daughter and was constantly on medication.
The officer confirmed that the autopsy of both bodies will be conducted by a board of doctors at the civil hospital. He added that inquest proceedings under Section 174 of CrPC (suicide) had been initiated into the matter.
Mukesh’s brother, Deepak Kumar, expressed his shock as to why his brother took such an extreme step while he believed that Mukesh seemed to be normal till Friday.
With half the family wiped out, Mukesh has left behind his wife Manju Singla who works as a teacher in a school in Ghalib Kalan and 12 year old son Sourav.
The incident will, no doubt, trigger a new debate around the growing numbers of parents suffering from depression as a result of raising mentally-disabled children. While in countries such as the UK, the State has facilities in place to provide help to both children and parents, India has to yet to even recognise this as a problem.
According to a children NGO, Child Line, mental health disorders account for one sixth of all health disorders yet India spends just 0.83% of its health budget on mental health.
In 2008, CHILDLINE India Foundation published a study on Mentally Challenged Children in Sholapur District, Maharashtra. The study sought to look at the information at all three levels: village, taluka and district. Key findings of the study showed that in 24% of the mentally challenged children, one of the parents were mentally retarded. 11% of mothers of mentally challenged children were below eighteen years. 36% of mothers reported complications during pregnancy while 41.2% reported stress. Only 8% of mentally challenged children attended school past II grade pr up to VII grade in normal schools. 33% of parent didn’t allow their children to interact with other children due to fear of them being teased, accidents, aggressive behaviour, etc.