Gold business hit, jeweller, kin take cyanide

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BANGALORE: A family of three committed suicide in their new car near Devanahalli town, about 40km from here, early Friday morning. The dead trio was identified as jeweller Sandeep Gopalakrishna (38), his wife Archana (34) and their seven-year-old daughter Aditi. Police suspect they consumed cyanide. Sandeep’s profession facilitated easy access to the poison.

Family sources told police Sandeep had no problem. The couple was on cloud nine when Aditi was recently adjudged Best Student of the Year at Bishop Cotton School. They had purchased a Honda Brio last month.

But a textile merchant in the neighbourhood of Sandeep’s shop said the jeweller had encountered problems due to fluctuations in gold price. “He had floated attractive schemes to sell gold after collecting money in instalments from customers. But he had to sell at less than the market price,” the merchant said on condition of anonymity.

Police sources said they are verifying reports if Sandeep had suffered any losses in the stock market.

Sandeep, Archana and Aditi, a class 2 student, are believed to have left their home around 1.30am. Around 3.30am, the jeweller sent a terse message to his friend Venkatesh Babu on WhatsApp: “We are near Devanahalli. We’re leaving the world.” Babu had switched off his message alerts. He saw the message when he woke up around 5am.

“A worried Babu immediately called Sandeep on his phone. There was no response. Babu then alerted Sandeep’s father, Gopalakrishna, who stays nearby, and the duo drove towards Devanahalli,” a police officer said.

Babu and Gopalakrishna found Sandeep’s grey Honda Brio parked on the service road next to Sanna Amani Kere with its parking lights on. “They found Sandeep, Archana and Aditi slumped in the back seat. They were dead. Archana was behind the driver’s seat, and the child was between the parents,” the officer said.

A half-filled water bottle indicated the family had consumed water laced with cyanide. Signs on the girl’s body suggested she had met a painful end. Her parents had clasped her.

Police found a suicide note in Sandeep’s trouser pocket. Written in English, it said: “Respected police, we are completely depressed in life and fed up with the world. We three are leaving this world and no one is responsible for our death. Please don’t conduct enquiry against anyone and close the case without investigating anyone.”

“Venkatesh Babu, please inform everyone and take care while passing the message to my parents,” the note ended.

Sandeep’s father Gopalakrishna said: “I never dreamt my son would take such an extreme step. I am still struggling to come to terms with the tragedy. As far as I know, Sandeep didn’t have any issues including financial problems.”


We are near Devanahalli. We’re leaving the world.
— To friend Venkatesh Babu on WhatsApp

We are completely depressed in life and fed up with the world. We three are leaving this world and no one is responsible for our death.
— Note to police found in Sandeep’s pocket

He is a Software Engineer from Moodbidri currently living in Kuwait. He likes to travel and post interesting things about technology. He is the designer of Kannadigaworld.com. You may follow him on FB at fb.com/alanpaladka

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