SARLAHI, Jan 4: Frustrated by poverty, a mother of six poisoned three of her daughters and then committed suicide in Pipariya-3 of Sarlahi district on Sunday.
Gundra Devi, 30, mixed poison in a glass of water, made her three daughters drink it, and then consumed the poison herself in the evening.
Gundra Devi and one of her daughters, Chandra Kumari, 10, succumbed to death while being taken to Sarlahi District Hospital, Malangawa. Bodies of the deceased mother and daughter have been kept at the district hospital in Sarlahi for post mortem.
The other two daughters were taken to the district hospital in critical condition, but their treatment was beyond the hospital's capacity. They were then referred to National Medical Hospital in Birgunj for further treatment, according to the police. The survivors have been identified as 13-year-old Puja Kumari and three-year-old infant Radha Kumari.
“Although both the victims have shown considerable improvement, they are still in a critical condition,” informed DSP Sitaram Rijal of the District Police Office (DPO), Sarlahi.
Preliminary investigation has shown poverty to be the main reason behind the incident.
“Apart from a sack of rice at home and a buffalo on the premises, they have nothing in the name of assets. After seeing no way to feed her five daughters and a son, she ultimately decided to commit suicide. She was also worried about her inability to get her daughters married off,” said DSP Rijal.
Gundra Devi had no means to afford dowry for her daughters' marriage. Police suspect that she committed the act after seeing no possibilities of getting her daughters married.
The remaining members of her family were out of the house at the time of the incident, according to Police Inspector Charitra Bikram Karki of the Area Police Office, Haripur.
According to her neighbors, there were no instances of disputes with them. Her husband, Ramdhar Pandit works as a daily wage laborer. Although he has left no stones unturned in taking care of their children, difficulties in taking care of the six children is said to bring her down.
Gundra Devi had been sick for the past few months. She was also depressed due to household problems led by poverty.
“As she had no money for treatment, she had visited few shamans of the villages to cure her illness, but to no avail,” said Meena Devi Mandal, one of the neighbors.