Father and daughter found dead in Dubai flat

Man and young daughter die and wife is seriously ill in hospital after apparent suicide pact.

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DUBAI // An Indian father died with his four-year-old daughter yesterday and his wife was seriously ill in hospital with cut wrists after an apparent suicide pact.
The father, identified as Rijesh, was believed to have hanged himself. His daughter, Avantika, was also found dead in the Bur Dubai apartment, said Khalid Ismail, the director of Rafa police station.
The woman, identified as Sreesha, and said to be in her late 20s, was found after having apparently slitting her wrists.
Avantika was a pupil in KG2 at the Kindergarten Starters school in Garhoud. An employee at an after-school care centre she attended as recently as Thursday, when she was picked up by her father, described her as "very active and helpful".
Mr Ismail said that "the father left a letter saying he had difficult times at work". He added: "We are treating this as a suicide and at this initial stage there are no criminal suspicions because of the father's note."
The man's brother called police to the apartment early yesterday, and they broke down the door to gain entry.
According to an eyewitness who helped the police open the door, the deaths were thought to have happened between 5.30am and 9am. "Some neighbours heard a big scream early in the morning," he said.
He saw the body hanging from the ceiling fan after breaking open the door. "It was a ghastly scene."
The tragedy follows a spate of suicides in the Indian community in 2011, with 67 Indians taking their own lives. More than 50 lived in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.
In 2010, most of the 110 suicides by Indians involved middle-class workers in white-collar jobs, according to an Indian consulate study.
Many had fallen behind with their payments for credit cards or loans, said the Indian Community Welfare Committee. Other workers had borrowed from illegal moneylenders and could not pay the usurious interest rates.
However, KT Bharadwaj, a family friend, described Rijesh as "a quiet man, financially well controlled".
"It was a beautiful family," he added.
Relatives and friends said the family came from the Kannur district in Kerala, and had been living in a one-bedroom flat on the second floor of a residential building behind Musalla towers in Bur Dubai for more than four years.
One relative said the family was from a good background. "He recently changed his job to another company. His wife also worked. We cannot understand why they took to this step. It's shocking."
A large number of people joined relatives outside the building as police took away the bodies.
Relatives said Rijesh had recently started building a new house in his home town in Kerala.
A grocery store owner said Rijesh had been in his shop at about midnight on Friday and bought a few daily necessities. "He spoke well and looked OK. We did not suspect anything was wrong."