Coronavirus came as an unprecedented situation and caused severe economic crisis where people lost their jobs, businesses ended and projects came to a complete halt. One such family was the Patels in Vinzol in Ahmedabad. Two brothers who took their lives after sedating and hanging their four children were under severe debt and were living on credit cards. Police probing the case stated that repaying credit card and home loans due to lack of income might be the reason for the extreme step.
On Wednesday, Gaurang Patel (40) and Amrish Patel (42) committed suicide, along with their four kids, at their Prayosha Residency apartment. The family got worried after the brothers and the kids, who went out on Wednesday, did not come home. They had left saying that they would return in a while.
ACP J division RB Rana said, "During the investigation, it was revealed that the joint family of the two brothers had a loan liability of Rs 32 lakh. It seems the loan amount, which they took before the lockdown and the stress caused by little or no income is the reason for the suicide."
Family survived on 26 credit cards
Police sources stated that the family had 26 credit cards and they were using these cards for survival during the lockdown. About 22 cards out of these 26 cards were on Gaurang's name and the other two were in the name of Hetal and Joshna, Amrish's and Gaurang's wives. The total outstanding amount for these credit cards was Rs 12 lakh. And the financial liability, including the loans, was around Rs 32 lakh. The brothers were surviving by buying essential through these credit cards. Their wives had no information about financial stress.
Amrish had six loan accounts in the past and all are closed. Amrish's wife Joshna had eight loan accounts. Out of these, three are currently active. Gaurang's wife Hetal has four active loan accounts.
The address for all the loan and credit card accounts was recorded as Prayosha Residency apartment, which belongs to Gaurang. The two had a cab business, which came to a complete stop due to the lockdown.
Gaurang and Amrish's wives were not aware of the huge debt that they had incurred. Gaurang shifted out of his Prayosha Residency apartment because many bank officials came to enquire about the outstanding loan amount.
The families owned a plot of land near Pirana, which was facing legal issues.
Before ending their lives, Amrish and Gaurang sent their childhood and family pictures and a link to a sad Hindi song to their WhatsApp contacts.