x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Relatives of suicide trio refuse police theory

RAK family's relatives in farewell plea

The bodies of an Indian family of three were found in their apartment in the Julan area of Ras Al Khaimah. They were cremated in their hometown in Kerala yesterday.
The bodies of an Indian family of three were found in their apartment in the Julan area of Ras Al Khaimah. They were cremated in their hometown in Kerala yesterday.

The devastated relatives of a family whose bodies were found hanging in their Ras Al Khaimah apartment have urged Indian and UAE authorities to find the truth behind their deaths and trace their missing passports.

The couple's parents in India refused to believe Anil Kumar, 44, and his wife Sreeja, 31, were capable of killing their daughter Anusree, 8, and themselves.

"I cannot believe this is true," said Omanakuttan V, the father of Sreeja, after the family's cremation yesterday in their home town in Kerala.

"They were very attached to each other. There was lots of love among all of them.

"My granddaughter would always tell me how her parents were teasing her."

The three bodies had been flown in from Sharjah to Kochi early on Thursday morning.

Police, who suspect murder-suicide, this week said the family had been struggling with financial problems.

"They cannot murder their daughter," said Mr Omanakuttan. "According to forensics, the three of them were found hanging in different rooms. How is that possible?

"The Indian Embassy, the Indian Association and UAE authorities have to prove how this happened and find out where are their passports."

The grief-stricken father was informed of the deaths last Saturday by Mr Kumar's family.

Mr Omanakuttan said the passports belonging to his daughter and granddaughter were believed to be missing, while Mr Kumar's passport was found in their apartment.

"We are helpless. This sort of tragedy should not happen to anybody. We have to find out the truth," he said.

The couple had told her family last month that Sreeja and Anusree were preparing to come back to India permanently in the next few days.

Mr Omanakuttan said his son-in-law had also talked of plans to come home after settling his business.

Close friends of the family said Anusree had stopped going to school since April, when she was supposed to start Grade 3.

"We are deeply shocked. We still believe they are living in Ras Al Khaimah," said Mr Omanakuttan, who remembered the couple as independent and soft-spoken people.

He had tried to ring the family some days ago but the phone rang out quickly.

"We do not if they were already dead when we tried calling them," Mr Omanakuttan said.

The bodies were flown by Air India and received by a handful of relatives.

"I couldn't even bring myself to open the boxes and see the bodies," said Mr Omanakuttan. "I didn't go to the crematorium as my family was worried that I may not be able to withstand the proceedings."

The couple's relatives, friends and acquaintances bid an emotional farewell to the family at the funerals, said Ramesh Kumar, who had accompanied the bodies from the UAE.

"Even people who didn't know them were affected by the news," Mr Kumar said. "It was extremely hard for me to believe what has happened."

He said he had lost contact with the family for the past year, despite knowing them for several years.

"Their daughter used to come to our house often," Mr Kumar said. "They had even stopped sending her to school since April this year. I tried contacting them to find out what happened, but nobody ever answered the phone."