Sailor’s Parent Committed Suicide

The middle-aged parents of a Pratibha Cauvery sailor who
drowned after the ship ran aground off the Chennai coast on October 31
committed suicide by hanging at their residence in Arakkonam on
Friday. They left behind a suicide note which blamed the government
and the shipping agency for negligence and inaction.

Sailor Niranjan’s father K N Kothandapani, 56 and mother S K Bharathi,
50, were found hanging from the same rope, police said.Niranjan was
among the five sailors who drowned after they abandoned the ship and
their lifeboat capsized near the Besant Nagar beach.

Niranjan’s aunt who went to his parents’ house early on Friday morning
found Kothandapani and Bharathi hanging. They had made nooses on
either side of a rope tied to a ceiling fan. On a nearby table was the
suicide note Kothandapani had written.

Niranjan’s relative Merin, who read the note, said Kothandapani blamed
the shipping agency and the government for not taking action against
people responsible for his son’s death and not reaching out to the
family. Arakkonam police sent the bodies to a government hospital in
Arakkonam for autopsy. Kothandapani was a farmer and Bharathi a
homemaker. Niranjan was their only son.

Pratibha Cauvery, which was near Chennai port strayed after its anchor
broke in the gusty winds that preceded Cyclone Nilam on October 31.
The captain of the oil tanker ordered the sailors to abandon the ship
after it lost anchor and drifted within 50 metres of Besant Nagar
beach, where it ran aground and appeared to be in imminent danger of
sinking. A sailor said 22 crew members attempted to head for shore in
a lifeboat. The overloaded vessel capsized in the choppy waters, which
turned into a disaster and five seamen drowned in the sea. Their
bodies were recovered from the sea shore a couple of days later.

Courtesy : Anil Preenza      


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Sailor’s Parent Committed Suicide

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