Dad kills son, commits suicide

By Rhondor Dowlat
Tuesday, March 25 2008

ViolenceA POPULAR Bar-B-Que vendor, 48, of Cunupia who accused his wife of being unfaithful, gave his four-year-old son a poisonous liquid to drink and then took a dose himself sometime between Easter Sunday night and yesterday morning.

Their bodies were discovered by the child’s distraught mother, Jairagee Deolal, 42, lying side by side on a mattress of their newly bought Caroni home.

This latest murder/suicide is included in the four-day Easter Weekend death record as 11 — six murders, three road fatalities, one suicide and one drowning.
Full Article : newsday.co.tt

‘Tabanca’ leads to murder/suicide

By Adrian Boodan
Tuesday, March 25 2008

A Cunupia man is believed to have killed his four-year-old son and then committed suicide, hours after he received counselling from Cunupia police.

The bodies of Himraj Sookai, 49, and his son, Kennedy Sean Deolal, of Southern Main Road in Cunupia, were discovered in a house which the family recently acquired at Tanager Drive, Ibis Gardens, Caroni.

The bodies were discovered around 9 am yesterday by Jairajee Sookhai, widow and mother, respectively, of the deceased.

Sookhai was found lying in the bed next to his son, clothed only in a pair of shorts, while his son was found wearing only a pair of jockey shorts.

A bottle containing a poisonous liquid, believed to be Lanate LV, a systemic agricultural insecticide, was discovered in the bedroom.

Police claim that Sookhai, who sold chickens for a living, was having marital problems, and may have had a case of “tabanca.”

The couple reportedly had a major argument on Friday.
Full Article : guardian.co.tt

‘They Kill My Child’
Mother blames police inaction for son’s murder

Darryl Heeralal
March 26th 2008

“I stay because of my children. Sean was not in the picture. Sean come 15 years after and he did not want Sean. He said I make Sean by myself and I will have to mind him by myself. He did not want the child. Now he take the child. Everything he take from me and destroy everything to spite me,” Deolal said.

“My mother stay because the Indian way is to take whatever your husband do you and then smile with the neighbours to make them feel everything normal. But this family for as long as I can remember was not stable,” Viki said yesterday.

The family believes Sookhai tripped after Deolal left home on Friday.
Full Article : trinidadexpress.com

11 Responses to “Dad kills son, commits suicide”


  • “My mother stay because the Indian way is to take whatever your husband do you and then smile with the neighbours to make them feel everything normal”

    stupid woman he shuda beat you more.indian have no pride in themselves as a nation. they rather live in the worst conditions behind closed doors that rise up and claim independence. hardly there is an african woman who will do this nonsense, they pride themselves in being independent even if it means fryin chicken by KFC. but indian rather take kick and cuff whole day but shame and false pride go kill them for people to see dem working for their own dollar.
    and to be more stupid and say ” IS THE INDIAN WAY” not the indian way woman, the hindu way.

    rise up and claim ur independence and stop depending on a man to give you what you want, try and have some semblance of pride in your self and stop taking abuse to save ur foolish pride. they shudda beat you more. doh blame police for your stupidity

    • I totally agree with you and i am of East Indian decent mostly. A lot of women don’t like walking away because of their pride and it kills them in the end. Women need to stop depending on men and even if you don’t have much education or you think you’re not that good-looking or whatever the case might be, walk away when you still have your life. Walk away with you Dignity. Don’t let any man mistreat you!

  • Hindu way my foot. All over the world, in every culture, examples of women remaining in the marital enclave despite decades of battering abound. And this includes African Women. Indian way me rear end. It is the masochistic male domineering way of our world, and it has never been different.

    The most difficult challenge faced by those engaged in the struggle to change this eternal order surfaces in these myths that this thing is unique to one culture or another. It is not. It pervades the land.

  • well ruel..turn a blind eye top what i have said and try to water it dong like every other trini who refuses to face the truth by saying….it happening all over the world…so that make it right??????????????????????????

  • bullraj, you completely missed the point Ruel is making. He’s not justifying it. He’s simply saying it is not the “Indian way” as the girl said nor is it the “Hindu way” as you put it. This sort of behaviour is not limited to a group of people based on race or religion. It is based on a mindset of both the man (who wants to exert his dominance) and the woman (who thinks there is shame in being a victim). Perhaps a third party to this is scoiety who make the woman feel ashamed or don’t provide the proper support system for victims of abuse.

    • Guys i think what bullraj is trying to say is that it is most common among Indian families. And in sociology, the study of their culture proves what he is saying. However biased his comment may sound, it is true in the end.

  • The Trinidad Express in their editorial dated March 27, 2008, stated:

    “According to Viki Deolal whose four-year-old brother, Sean, was poisoned by their father, Himragh Sooklal, the only reason her mother remained with their father was ‘because the Indian way is to take whatever your husband do you and then smile with the neighbours to make them feel everything is normal. But this family for as long as I can remember is not stable…’

    The only mistake made by Ms Deolal in her honest assessment of her family situation, and it is an understandable one, is in her belief that the public face of abusive relationships – which is what her mother, Jairagie claims she suffered for 25 years – is an Indian thing, the reality being that women of all races and, indeed, classes in Trinidad and Tobago have long been minded to take their blows even as they put up a brave face to the rest of the world.”

    http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article_opinion?id=161299096

    Many assume that women of all races and classes in Trinidad and Tobago have been conditioned to accept blows and remain quiet. Most people do not have any knowledge of White and Chinese females accepting blows. There are also reported cases of females who beat males. Having said this, there is more.

    The fact is the statistics they have on domestic violence largely represent what transpires among Africans and to a lesser extent Indians. Where are the reported cases of domestic violence among Whites and Chinese people in Trinidad and Tobago?

    Some years ago they gave some statistics on domestic violence that showed it was way more prevalent among Africans than any other group in the country and I challenged them on the airways about that. I asked a host how the data was collected. He said from reported cases of abuse to social services and police reports. I told him that if they were just going by reported cases then the statistics would show a disproportionately larger amount of African males being violent towards females than others. Indian females hardly reported physical abuse perpetrated by violent Indian males and the only time most of us hear about these reports from Indians is when the violence results in murder and/or suicide.

    When the media gave that report years ago, they had no problem with its effect on Africans in general. They just gave it as a matter of fact. A few of us challenged what they were saying on the radio and faced heavy criticism from some Indians.

    I sat on a panel on the program Issue Live on TTT where they were discussing domestic violence and Pundit Rambachan was quick to state that Indians do not abuse their womenfolk. He went on to offer the Hindu as an example to Africans to address this abuse. I looked around to see if anyone would challenge him and as no one seemed willing to do so, I firmly stated, “You are lying. Domestic violence is also common among Indians but Indian females know that even their own families would disown them for reporting it.” He became quite angry, but I was unyielding.

    So when I read what was said about it being an Indian way, I knew many would prefer to settle for ‘all people do it’ without examining the issue among Indians. Simply saying all people do it is not sufficient to explain how it is accepted by different people and why it is underreported by Indians.

    Usually, some poor African females would tolerate violence from males when they are economically dependant on them. More often, African females who have their own income are less likely to tolerate violence from males. Accepting blows is not so much tied to a cultural conditioning among Africans – it is mostly economics and, to a lesser extent, false pride. African females, more than females of other races, report domestic violence and use the court system to get the males to pay redress and maintenance.

    Among Indians it is somewhat different. Although the females would tolerate blows for the same economic reasons, females, especially those entrenched in Hinduism, are conditioned to feel they are the property of their husbands and to report such abuses would be to dishonour their families and religion. Even the parents of a female would disown her if she was to report such abuses. She would even be ostracized from her community. So among Indians it is mostly cultural.

    Although the Express said “…the reality being that women of all races and, indeed, classes in Trinidad and Tobago have long been minded to take their blows even as they put up a brave face to the rest of the world,” they have not shown how this exists among other races and they are not addressing the cultural issue with Indians.

  • Heru
    Usually, some poor African females would tolerate violence from males when they are economically dependant on them. More often, African females who have their own income are less likely to tolerate violence from males. Accepting blows is not so much tied to a cultural conditioning among Africans – it is mostly economics and, to a lesser extent, false pride. African females, more than females of other races, report domestic violence and use the court system to get the males to pay redress and maintenance.

    I was a cop for 18 years, and my experience with domestic violence and the patterns of “battered woman syndrome” make me skeptical about the economic argument. Battered Women, that is the say, those who are subjected to marital and domestic terrorism, but remain with their mates notwithstanding, this horror run the economic gamut. I have gone to many an African household on request, prepared to haul the culprit away to jail, only to be confronted by a pleading or angry victim to desist from doing so and to leave them the hell alone. And this was mostly the rule rather than the aberration.

    Among Indians it is somewhat different. Although the females would tolerate blows for the same economic reasons, females, especially those entrenched in Hinduism, are conditioned to feel they are the property of their husbands and to report such abuses would be to dishonour their families and religion. Even the parents of a female would disown her if she was to report such abuses. She would even be ostracized from her community. So among Indians it is mostly cultural.

    In all of these issues what surfaces is the uniqueness of the history of Africans in the diaspora as opposed to that of other cultures. I know this is not something that many like to examine, but this issue begs for such examinations. And this is not about putting any group down or leveraging any group up. What this issue illustrates are patterns of attitudes and behaviours directly nexussed to the circumstances of slavery.

    I believe that the patterns of behaviour referrenced for Indian Women and nexussed to entrenched religious nurturings are replicated among many cultures on the African Continent. That is to say that the marital perspective of African Women on the continent is probably closer to that of Indian Women in the diaspora or elsewhere, than it is to African women in the diaspora. Ironically, the dispossession and disconnection incidented by centuries of slavery, seem to have inadvertently broken the chain of the hereditary female to male submissive psyche among African Women in the diaspora.

    Regardless of the whys and wherefores, the Sookraj tragedy reflects one of the shared enculterations of our world. That is the unspoken but consensus driven ideology of male supremacy. So much so that it manifests itself in the extreme with tragedies such as these.

  • Some African females do accept abuses for different reasons, for example, the fear of being alone or their belief that they are incapable of finding another male. This could be as a result of the lingering legacy of colonialism and the drive by many Africans to look outside the race for companionship or to lighter skin individuals which may keep darker females second-guessing themselves. However, unlike the Indian (especially Hindu) scenario in Trinidad and Tobago as well as the rest of the Indian Diaspora and continent, Africans accepting abuse is not a cultural thing as Heru indicated earlier. That is to say, Africans are not taught that they must or should stay in an abusive relationship. Hindu culture inferiorizes females as they are regarded as the property of their husbands and so, Hindu females and their offspring are cultured/conditioned into accepting male dominance, even if it violent.

    In some African countries, especially those that were influenced by Islam, (which was a pre-European imperialist force) the idea of the inferiorization of females and their accepting violence against them became more prominent. Not saying that there was absolutely no incidence of female abuse before then, but Africans were not cultured that way. In fact, traditional African religions spoke tremendously about male/female harmony and balance which runs counter to Judaic/Christian/Islamic/Hindu patrifocalism. Even in cases of abuses against females in indigenous African cultures, including some that were influenced by Western/non-traditional African cultures, there were systems in place to help females deal with the situation. For example, there were counsel systems provided comprised of the elders of the community who would advise the male to desist or to face consequences such as ostracism or the females had the option of marrying another or even living under the guardianship of her brother or another male relative. It was a shaming thing for males for their spouses to report abuse, and abusive males were seen as less than men, which is not the same in the Western traditions, Islam, or in Hinduism for that matter.

    When bullraj said, “and to be more stupid and say ” IS THE INDIAN WAY” not the indian way woman, the hindu way,” he may have also been talking about this particular cultural Hindu distinction.

    None of this negates the fact that domestic violence occurs across all races and classes and is a product of male arrogance and domination.

    The situation in Trinidad and Tobago is that Indians and particularly Hindus still hold on to the idea and they are being taught to accept female (and black) inferiority. This is why the female who lost her husband and son to murder/suicide said that it ‘is an Indian thing’. She may have very well been speaking about the conditioning within her culture.

  • Onceagain, a discussion that should be based on an endemic system of buse of poor women, has become a debate on the ethnic oriins of battered women. Once again, race seems to cloud the issue. While reported cases of murder-suicide of spouses, and occasionally of children- two in this new year reported so far, two too many; the underlying causes are not racial, but economic.

    Women with no options and more consciious of family pressure stay in battered relationships longer than women with education and the economic means to make it on their own.

    To make this into an African vs Indian debate among men is to reduce this critical social problem to an absurdity.

    This argument OUGHT to be about social support services for families in crisis- police are interveners, not counsellors. It should be about emergency economic support for women who leave battering relationships, including help in migrating, if needed.
    It should be about a general education programme to educate the society that child battering, wife or husband battering, and other forms of violence are a pandemic.

    It should never descend into another racial discussion, but like race in the USA, it is the eighthundred pound gorilla in the room. It affects the balance of all arguments.

    I want to state that I grieve for children dead at the hands of parents,I grieve for wives battered and murdered by husbands, and occasionally,i grieve for husbands killed by wiives.

    A human life lost to violence diminishes us all. Blogers further diminish the argument by fussing about African women vs indian women, when so many women under forty are both. Lift the level of the discussion, please.

  • Linda Edwards,

    “discussion that should be based on an endemic system of buse of poor women, has become a debate on the ethnic oriins of battered women. Once again, race seems to cloud the issue. While reported cases of murder-suicide of spouses, and occasionally of children- two in this new year reported so far, two too many; the underlying causes are not racial, but economic.”

    Linda, you could do better than this. Your response is a distortion of the comments made so far, and this could be because you are fueled by a vendetta. The debate is not about the ethnic origins of battered women as you stated, but how different people deal with it. It appears that you are trolling in an attempt to undermine L.Paul’s contributions. I think the racial aspects of the comments on this issue have illuminated the debate and not clouded it as you have stated.

    Examining domestic violence within the context of race and culture should be central to this debate as the comment from one of the families involved pointed to it. If people were dispassionately examining racial and cultural issues in Trinidad and Tobago they would have discovered that they are not advancing solutions to domestic violence that would be readily accepted by our diverse people.

    The solutions that are being advanced in the social services would more appeal to those poor Africans who, as I said, are more likely to stay in a violent relationship because of economic concerns. The solutions they are advancing are not readily taken up by many Indians in the society; hence the solutions are not widely effective.

    It is easy to assume that the person who said it was “the Indian way” was wrong without examining why one would have said that initially. The hard thing for many is to admit that they may not have understood the context of the statement. Of course, this ongoing fear of reasoning on racial issues means that once Indian and African are mentioned, people are quick to dismiss the substance of the arguments. That on its own does not make the arguments invalid.

    L.Paul, thanks for also bringing up that quote from bullraj:

    “and to be more stupid and say ” IS THE INDIAN WAY” not the indian way woman, the hindu way,” he may have also been talking about this particular cultural Hindu distinction.”

    I think in bullraj’s own way something of substance was being pointed out and it should not have been casually dismissed.

    Examining how abuses are passed on and dealt with within the different races and cultures in Trinidad and Tobago is an integral aspect of working out solutions.

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