Thiruvananthapuram: In a tragic case in Neyyattinkara, a mother and daughter committed suicide by setting themselves on fire after bank officials repeatedly called them informing of immediate recovery of loan by attaching their house.
The deceased were Lekha and her daughter Vaishnavi, who was a degree student. The family had taken a housing loan amounting to Rs. 5 lakh from Canara bank fifteen years ago.
Lekha’s husband, Chandran, said that they had already repaid around Rs. 8 lakh and another Rs. 6.80 lakh was left to be repaid to the bank. The family was trying to sell the land and the unfinished house for a meager amount to tide over the financial crisis. Lekha had even given a written assurance to pay the bank the rest of the loan amount. However, the Canara bank officials began pestering Lekha continuously and pushed the mother and daughter to take the extreme step.
Chandran who was working in the Middle East when they took the loan had since came back after losing his job. He is also physically not fit and the family fell on bad times. They were pinning their hope on the sale of the land which did not materialize on time as expected.
The mother and daughter set themselves on fire in the afternoon after bank officials threatened of attaching the house tomorrow. Neighbours say that they were alone in the house and must have decided to end their lives before the bank officials could claim their only home.
The issue has sparked a public outcry against bank officials who are tough against poor loan defaulters but give more time and opportunity to their rich clients.