Highlights

  • 13 accused arrested in Maharashtra's mass suicide case
  • Police: family was in heavy debt, were humiliated
  • Police found suicide notes at the houses of the two brothers

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Maharashtra mass suicide: 13 arrested for death of 9 members of a family

A preliminary probe suggested that the two brothers had heavily borrowed money from various people, police said.

Thirteen of the 25 accused have been arrested on charges of abetment of suicide of nine members of a family that had borrowed money from them in Maharashtra's Sangli district, an official said on Tuesday.

The deceased belonged to a family of two brothers -- one of them a teacher and the other a veterinarian. The brothers, along with seven of their family members, were found dead in their houses in Mhaisal village of Sangli district, police had said.

Suicide notes were found from the two houses, located 1.5 km apart from each other and over 350 km from the state capital Mumbai, they had said.

A preliminary probe suggested that the two brothers had heavily borrowed money from various people, police said.

"The contents of the suicide notes indicate that the family had borrowed money from some people and was finding it difficult to repay it," Sangli Superintendent of Police (SP) Dikshit Gedam told a press conference.

ALSO WATCH: 9 members of a family found dead in Maharashtra's Sangli

"As the family members were humiliated for it, they took the extreme step," he added.

Prima facie, it looks like the deceased had taken the loan for some business, the officer said.

"We have already registered a case against 25 people from whom the family had taken money. The family was harassed and humiliated by these people, who forced them to take the extreme step," he said.

Of the 25 accused, police have so far arrested 13 under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 306 (abetment of suicide) and 341 (wrongful restraint) and the relevant provisions of the Maharashtra Money Lending (Regulation) Act and the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the SP said.

Some of the arrested accused already have cases related to money lending against them, he added.

Multiple teams have been formed to trace the other accused, the SP said.

Asked if all the deceased had consumed a poisonous substance together, the officer said a probe to ascertain what they had consumed and how was still on.

"The cause of the deaths is still reserved and what substance was used is under investigation," he said.

Asked if there are any superstition angle to the case, the SP said so far, the debt burden seems to be the prima facie reason behind the incident, but police will look at all possible aspects.

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