Family murders of elders to be probed

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February 2nd, 2010
By Our Correspondent

Feb. 1: The district administration in Virudhunagar has launched an investigation into the barbaric practice of killing of elders in the family by their children in some sections of society, following a recent expose in DC.
Collector Ms Sigy Thomas Vaidhyan has set up teams of officers to closely monitor the senior citizens across the district to ensure they are not done away with by the younger members of their family by resorting to the age-old practice known as thalaikoothal, which was brought to light in an article on Jan .26. This practice is resorted to by relatives to rid themselves of the responsibility of looking after the ailing elders at home by giving them oil bath and feeding them tender coconut water, resulting in high fever, fits and death in a day or two. There were also cases where poison pills used to kill pigs, were fed to the unwanted senior citizen.
“I was shocked to read the DC report on old people being done away with by their kin in the name of mercy-killing. It is distressing that many of my officials working in this district for many years are ignorant about this practice. I have initiated steps to stop this practice,” collector Vaidhyan told this newspaper.
Mr S.Paul Raj, 60, coordinator of the elder’s welfare association at Virudhunagar, said the senior citizens in the district were vulnerable to thalaikoothal and need government protection. “I personally know many families which had even informed their relatives before performing the thalaikoothal. The report has brought this issue to light and we hope the collector will ensure protection to us elders here,” he said.


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