Agartala, Nov 3: Ostracised by their family and neighbours, an AIDS patient couple committed suicide in Tripura, officials said here Sunday.
“Asit Nath, 38, and his 35-years-old wife Kakali Nath consumed toxic pesticide on Oct 24. Asit died on the same day while Kakali died Saturday night after 10 days in hospital,” Abhijit Saptarshi, north Tripura district police chief, told IANS.
He said: “(We) have registered a simple UD (unnatural death) case of this incident. No criminal complaint came to us so far. If any criminal complaint is registered with us, we would act accordingly.”
According to the relatives and doctors, after preliminary confirmation by doctors at Dharmagar sub-divisional hospital in north Tripura several months back, the couple was found to be afflicted by AIDS at Agartala’s integrated counselling and testing centre (ICTC) that is managed by Tripura State AIDS Control Society (TSACS).
“After returning home at Goalabasti village, the couple were subjected to continuous ill-treatment, hatred and abuse by family members, relatives and neighbours,” said a neighbour of Asit. Goalabasti village is 225 km north of here.
He said: “In fact both Asit and Kakali suspected each other for the infection and occasionally quarrelled… we tried to convince them that the disease might have been caused by reasons other than pre- or post-marital sexual misconduct.”
According to relatives, Asit, a motor mechanic and driver, after marrying Kakali in 2008 was settled in Latumbai area on the outskirts of the Meghalaya capital Shillong.
After Kakali became pregnant eight months ago, the couple started contracting diseases which could not be cured by medicines prescribed by doctors. Then they returned to their home in Goalabasti village.
“I was infected from my husband after we got married in 2008, but I accepted it as my destiny and decided to live together. Though we did not have any problem in our married life but social and family humiliation turned life miserable,” Kakali was quoted by the local media as saying a few days before her suicide attempt.
“We have asked our north Tripura district AIDS prevention and control center officials to study the case and reasons behind the suicide,” TSACS project director Tapan Kumar Das told IANS.
He said: “Mental support and all out compassion is needed for the HIV-positive and AIDS patients.”
According to an official document of the TSACS, currently Tripura has 405 confirmed AIDS patients and altogether 1,091 HIV-positives till September.
Among the HIV-positives, 373 are females while among the confirmed AIDS patients 128 are females.
Since 2001, in all 117 people in Tripura have died of AIDS. Of the 117 dead, 98 are males, 16 females, a male child and two female children.
The TSACS is implementing many programmes to prevent the spread of HIV-positives in the northeastern state bordering Bangladesh.