Mother and her three children found dead in Karnali river; fourth missingPolice and local residents suspect that Suki Baduwal jumped into the river with her children.
Suki Baduwal set off from her house with her four children at around 4pm on Sunday. She told her neighbours that they were going out to irrigate the field. But Suki and her children, residents of Aathbis Municipality-3 in Dailekh district, never returned home.
The bodies of 35-year-old Suki and her three children—two girls, 12 and 15, and a boy, 8— were discovered in the Kranali river on Monday and Tuesday. Suki’s youngest child, a six-year-old girl, remains missing.
Police and local residents suspect that Suki jumped into the Karnali river with her children.
“The site where the bodies were recovered from is around an hour’s walk from Suki’s house. A pair of slippers was also found near the incident site but it is still not clear who they belong to,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police in Dailekh Anup Shrestha. “As the bodies were recovered from Achham, Achham police will be handling the investigation and conducting the post mortem.”
According to Shrestha, the bodies of Suki’s two elder daughters were found on Monday with their hands tied with a rope. Suki had her son tied around her waist when their bodies were recovered on Tuesday.
Though many speculated that the tragic incident was a ‘suicide pact’ caused by domestic violence, it is still not clear how the incident took place. Convincing the older children to jump into the river with their hands tied seem far fetched, say police.
Police on Monday detained Mansingh Baduwal, Suki’s husband, for investigation. Mansingh, who often goes to India for work, is at home this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Deputy Mayor of Aathbis Municipality Deepa Bohora quoted the locals as saying that Mansingh, under the influence of alcohol, repeatedly beat his wife and children.
“It has come to our knowledge that Mansingh beat Suki and their children on Sunday as well. We suspect that the tragic incident was triggered by domestic violence,” said Bohora.
The Karnali Province Police Office said investigation into the incident was underway.
“Preliminary investigation shows that the mother and her four children voluntarily jumped into the river. We will know more once the postmortem report arrives,” said Deputy Inspector of Police Basanta Panta. “The District Police Office in Achham is investigating the incident. The province police and Dailekh police will also support the investigation if needed.”
According to him, there were no injuries found on the deceased’s bodies.