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Lone survivor in family suicide faces the law

Premeditated murder charge subject to inquiry

Rijesh with wife Sreesha and daughter Avantika
Image Credit: Supplied
Rijesh with wife Sreesha and daughter Avantika.
Gulf News

Dubai The primary charges levelled against a woman who is the sole survivor of a family suicide are of premeditated murder and attempted suicide, Gulf News has learnt.

Sreesha Nambiar was found in her apartment with her wrist and neck slashed in an apparent suicide bid along with the bodies of her husband Rijesh Nambiar, 32, and their daughter Avantika, 5.

The tragic events unfolded on January 14 at the family's single-bedroom apartment in Bur Dubai, behind Al Musalla Tower.

The child was smothered to death while Sreesha's husband hanged himself, police established after an autopsy and on the weight of forensic evidence.

Still in hospital

Sreesha will be charged with attempted suicide, but her involvement in her daughter's death is yet to be established as she is still hospitalised at Rashid Hospital, where she was taken by police ambulance on the fateful day.

Her passport is still in the custody of the police in keeping with normal procedure when a case in ongoing, a Dubai Police source said.

Sreesha is yet to be interrogated by the police as she is still under psychiatric care, hospital sources said.

However, initial charges filed by the police before the public prosecution mention premeditated murder and attempted suicide.

The public prosecution is currently investigating the case and only if prosecutors are convinced of her involvement will charges be pressed against Sreesha in court. If not, then the charges against her would only pertain to a suicide bid.

"Sreesha seemed very disturbed yesterday," said another source at the hospital, adding that she seemed to have recovered to an extent and was even interacting with family and friends who visited her but was also showing clear signs of stress at times.

According to a family friend, who asked not to be named, Sreesha's parents reached Dubai a few days ago. "They flew in from India to comfort her, considering she is going through a lot." One of her cousin sisters also works in the UAE.

Initial claims

Funerals were held for Avantika and Rijesh in February in their hometown in Kerala.

Hospital staff had said in January that Sreesha claimed to not remember anything in the aftermath of the tragedy. "She told her relatives that the last thing she remembers is going to sleep the night before."

When she was first admitted to hospital, she was hysterical but when she calmed down later, she seemed unaware of what had happened to her family and said that her child was at the day-care centre and her husband was at work. Some relatives later attributed the deaths to her.


Brigadier Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansouri, director of Dubai Police's Criminal Investigation Department, had said that Rijesh had left two letters — one to his family and the other to police — in which indicated that he was having financial problems and was also facing problems with his former boss, also an Indian national.

In his statement to the police, the former boss P.N. said he knew Rijesh from 1998 when they used to work together at another company. P.N., who later set up his own business, said that he had loaned Dh5,000 to Rijesh in 2007 and Dh10,000 in 2011. He said he asked Rijesh to repay the money and had contacted him as well as his wife over the phone about it. The night before the incident, Rijesh met P.N. and gave him two cheques towards the money he owed and a laptop belonging to P.N, according to the statement.