Nepalese father attempts mass suicide by jumping into Indian canal, two of four survive

20 January 2019: A desperate Nepalese father held his family together and jumped into an Indian canal in a bid to commit mass suicide earlier this week.

Media reports suggest the Nepalese man took the extreme step on January 16 after being accused of stealing jewellery from the employer of his wife.

Ram Chander and his family had been living in Patiala for the last few years, reports indicated, where he worked as a cook at the Thapar University while his wife Basanti Chander worked as a domestic help for a retired Excise and Tax Officer (ETO). The family used to live at the ETO’s house.

Basanti Chander and her ten-year-old daughter Sushmita were rescued by quick-thinking “divers” who happened to be nearby but 7-year-old Yuvraj could not be saved.

The 35-year-old father has not yet been accounted for, Times of India reported today.

The tragic incident took place in the Bhakra Canal near Patiala, Punjab.

Laxman Nepali, who also lives in Patiala, told TOI that the family was recently tortured by police after they were accused of stealing golden ornaments from the employer’s house. But the family kept it a secret “pressured by the police“. Bhagwan Singh had earlier lodged a complaint with the local police about the missing jewellery.

But things have turned on the ETO since the tragic event unfolded last Wednesday. Acting on the complaint of Mrs Chander, local police have booked Mr Singh under sections of abetment to suicide of the Indian Penal Code. Police are currently conducting “raids to nab the accused”.

Reports also suggested that the Nepalese father borrowed money from his friends and offered to Bhagwan Singh to compensate for the missing gold ornaments. The money was apparently refused as Mr Singh wanted nothing but the original ornaments.

Before he took his family to the Bhakra Canal, the father of two apparently told his wife that he was innocent and that he could not take the humiliation any more.

The Chander family is refusing to cremate the deceased 7-year-old, the TOI report added.

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