The lifeless body of a 44-year-old woman of Indian origin, who was a resident abroad (NRI), has been discovered after she reportedly took her own life by leaping into the Malaprabha river near Munavalli in Saundatti taluk. The tragic incident unfolded during the late hours of Thursday.
Allegedly, the woman attributed her drastic decision to Australian laws pertaining to child protection. Identified as Priyadarshini Patil, she was the daughter of retired professor S S Desai and Shobha Desai. Hailing from Saptapur in Dharwad, she had tied the knot with Lingaraj Patil from Kalyan Nagar in Dharwad.
Both hailing from engineering backgrounds, the couple had established their residence in Sydney, Australia. Their family comprised a son named Amartya and a daughter named Aparajita, both of whom were granted Australian citizenship due to their birth in the country.
As revealed by sources close to the family, their 17-year-old son, Amartya, faced health challenges that necessitated medical attention in Australia. Unfortunately, the treatment did not yield positive results, leading to further complications for Amartya. Subsequently, Priyadarshini filed a formal complaint against the attending doctor.
Facing an unfortunate turn of events, Priyadarshini’s attempt to voice her concerns through a formal complaint took an unexpected twist. Australian authorities countered by pressing charges against her for allegedly neglecting her children. Citing local legislation centred around child safeguarding, these authorities went ahead and assumed custody of the children under the government’s purview.
Devastated by these unfolding circumstances, Priyadarshini endeavoured to relocate her children to Dharwad, India. Regrettably, her endeavours hit a roadblock as Australia’s rigorous legal framework prohibited the children from leaving the country.
Taking matters into her own hands, Priyadarshini embarked on a solo journey to India on August 18, reaching Bengaluru. While she had initially reserved a bus ticket for Dharwad on August 19, she ultimately did not board that particular bus, according to family insiders.
Instead, she opted for a different bus route, arriving in Hubballi. There, she visited a courier office, where she packed her finances and valuables, alongside a letter addressed to her parents, into a bag. Requesting the courier service to deliver this package to her father’s residence, she apparently informed the staff at the office that she intended to travel towards Gokak in the Belagavi district. In the letter, reportedly, she detailed the mental anguish inflicted by Australia’s stringent legal provisions.
However, when Priyadarshini failed to return home at the anticipated time, her concerned parents promptly alerted the local authorities.
In the meantime, Priyadarshini ventured to Munavalli by bus from Hubballi. Disembarking there, she proceeded along the Malaprabha River until she reached the vicinity of the Naviluteertha Dam. Tragically, a family member revealed that she took the fateful decision to leap into the river’s waters.
Her remains were eventually discovered in the decomposed state within the backwaters of the Malaprabha River at Renuka Sagar.
Priyadarshini’s mother, Shobha Desai said, “There were lapses on the part of the doctors who treated the boy. But the department said they will take custody of the children because they are Australian citizens, and they continuously harassed her (Priyadarshini). In fact, she even contemplated cancelling the children’s citizenship and returning to India, but she said it would take at least a year, and they won’t allow her to live peacefully till then”.
“Since she had brought the passports of her two children along with her, the children could not travel to India. Her husband Lingaraj reached Dharwad after which the last rites were performed,” shared Desai.