(If you feel suicidal or know someone in distress, please reach out to them with kindness and call these numbers of local emergency services, helplines, and mental health NGOs)
Preliminary investigation revealed that the three tribal sisters who were found dead in Kotaghat village in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh, on Tuesday, 26 July, had been facing a lot of difficulties at home. The police said that the sisters were being denied wheat flour by their sister-in-law and were forced to stay at home.
"The eldest sister Sonu had sent WhatsApp voice notes to her brother-in-law and her oldest brother. She mentioned in the voice note that their sister-in-law didn't give them wheat flour. Nor were the sisters allowed to work in the field," said Vivek Singh, superintendent of police, Khandwa.
The two others sisters were identified as Savitri and Lalita and all three bodies were sent to the district hospital for a post-mortem.
The police have not recovered any suicide note so far.
‘Family Broke Apart’ After Demise of Father: Cops
The senior police officer further said that Savitri got married three months ago and wasn't happy with the marriage. Her husband used to drink and she didn't like it, he alleged.
Police told The Quint that since the demise of their father, the family's economic condition was quite poor and "their family kind of broke apart."
"When their father died 4-5 years ago the sisters often talked about how they wanted to be with their father," Singh told The Quint. The family consists of five sisters, three brothers, and their mother.
The food would be prepared separately in their household and one of the brothers and his wife would eat wheat flour while others were given only maize flour, the police said.
"When the girls complained about this to their brother he didn't do anything. The WhatsApp message mentioned that they are not happy and they feel really sad about this. They were traumatised since the death of their father, which led them to take such a drastic action," Singh added.
He stated that the family hasn’t mentioned any suspicious details or blamed anyone for their death so they don't suspect it to be a murder.
"We have ruled out murder based on the post mortem report; as for the abetment to suicide angle, since there is no direct link and the family members also do not want to press charges on anyone, we haven't pursued that angle as well," Singh told The Quint.
The girls' brothers, Dinesh Chauhan, said, "We don’t know what happened, but there must have been some reason. One of them was married, another was studying and the third used to work in the fields."
Despite the clarification provided by the police, several questions continue to surround the incident. The police are investigating why both a sister who was married, and another who lived in the city, died by suicide.
It is still unclear if the women were subjected to any other form of domestic abuse.
(With inputs from Shaikh Shakeel.)
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