(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.)
"She was under severe stress and was always worrying about her children. She had taken loans to pay their fees in the past," the neighbour of 46-year-old Pappathi, who died after she walked into a moving bus in Tamil Nadu's Salem, told The Quint, on condition of anonymity.
Pappathi allegedly died by suicide almost a month ago – on 28 June – but a video of the same went viral on social media on Monday, 17 July.
The Salem Town Police said their probe revealed that the woman took her own life after she was 'misled' by 'someone' that her family would get compensated for her death, which would help pay her son's fees amounting to Rs 45,000.
However, her son Rubatharan has denied this claim.
"All this news about how she fell in front of the bus to pay my fees is fake news... It is not true. I don't want to say anything more, but this is fake news," Rubathran told The Quint.
Pappathi was working as a contract sanitation worker at the Salem collectorate. A single parent, she is survived by her college-going son and daughter, and her mother.
'She Tried To Take Her Life Before the Incident...'
The viral video, which was extracted from a CCTV footage, shows Pappathi walking on the right side of 2nd Agraharam Street in Salem. She then changes her path, and walks towards a bus, and gets hit. She died on the spot, the police added.
"When we checked the CCTV footage, we noticed that she had walked in front of another moving bus, just minutes before. She was, however, hit by a two-wheeler instead of the bus. She survived with minimal injury. But she repeated this again, and this time, it was fatal," a police official told The Quint.
'Was Under Severe Stress Over Children's Future': Police
According to the town police, investigations revealed that Pappathi was under "severe stress" over the future of her children.
While her son was pursuing a diploma in architecture, her daughter is an engineering student.
"We have come to know from her relatives and neighbours that she has been under stress about her daughter's marriage and son's education. When we inquired further, we were told that she was told by someone that if she died in a bus accident, either the government or the private company [she worked for] would pay her family some compensation. She may have believed this and taken her life," the police further added.
Speaking to The Quint, the neighbour said: "She earned about Rs 10,000. But she was on a contract and didn't have a permanent job. She was taking loans to pay their fees and run the house. She may have believed that taking her life was the solution. We don't know, but we hope the children are supported to complete their education."
(The Quint could not ascertain any medical history vis-a-vis the mental health of Pappathi. This is a developing story. The copy will be updated with more details.)