Sunday, June 5, 2011

3 sisters commit suicide in Gujarat to end HIV misery

In a shocking incident, three HIV-infected sisters consumed pesticides and committed suicide late on Friday night at their home in Khadaliya village of Vartej taluka in Bhavnagar district.
Of the three sisters, two died on the spot while the third died in the government hospital at Bhavnagar. All the three girls were minors, the eldest being 16 years old.

Preliminary investigation by the police has revealed that all members of the girls' family are infected by the AIDS virus. The girls' mother, who died of HIV related complications a few years back, had acquired the deadly virus during blood transfusion given to her during a delivery several years back. Sources said residents of the village maintained distance from them because of the fear of the dreaded illness.

The last rites of the three sisters were conducted in the village on Saturday afternoon. The police have started further investigations regarding the incident.

According to unconfirmed reports, the sisters had taken the extreme step either because they were fed up of the social boycott or were worried about their future as their father, who also has the HIV virus, was continuously ill.

V Chandrashekhar, superintendent of police, Bhavnagar, said the three sisters had died after consuming pesticide. "They had consumed the pesticide at their home. All the three were HIV positive," Chandrashekhar said, adding that the family is very poor. When asked about the alleged social boycott of the family, he said he could not say anything as investigation is still going on.
The three sisters - Abha, 16, Meera, 12, and Chitra, 10, (names changed) - had consumed pesticides together at their home at around 11 pm on Friday.

"We rushed to the spot after 108 emergency services informed us that three sisters had committed suicide. The two had died on the spot while the third died at the government hospital in Bhavnagar where they were taken for treatment," said JR Zala, investigating officer of the case.Zala further said the mother and a brother of the deceased sisters, who were also HIV positive, had died four years back. "All the three sisters were living with their father on a farm outside the village with other family members, who worked as labourers on the farm," he said.

The investigating officer further said that the villagers had not completely boycotted the family but they maintained a distance from the family members. "The sisters were worried about their future as their father was also ill. We also came to know that the mother of the deceased acquired HIV from the blood given to her during delivery years ago," Zala said.

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