Chennai: Viswanathan (88), who cared for his disabled son, Venkatesan (44), gave the latter an overdose of sleeping pills fearing that nobody will take care of the latter when the former died, the police said. The father-son duo resided in an apartment in Cenotaph Road in Teynampet.

On Friday morning, one of the neighbours got a foul smell from Viswanathan’s apartment. They knocked on his door, but it remained unanswered. Suspicious about this, the neighbour immediately alerted the police. A team from the Teynampet police station rushed to the spot and found Venkatesan’s decomposed body and Viswanathan lying unconscious near him.

Police officials immediately moved Venkatesan’s body to a government hospital for autopsy and Viswanathan is undergoing treatment at a private hospital, where doctors claim he is in critical condition.

Investigations revealed that Venkatesan is hearing-impaired, and intellectually challenged with other physical disabilities. “Fearing that Venkatesan would be abandoned after his death, Viswanathan decided to kill his son by giving him sleeping pills,” said a police officer. Viswanathan’s wife died 15 years ago, and he looked after his son as a single parent.

A social activist, who deals with intellectually challenged people, urged the state government to identify what help is needed in setting up an environment to cater to the needs of such people. “For instance, all departments must be interlinked when dealing with such cases, including the police, the welfare department, the public and NGOs. Only then can parents of intellectually challenged children better care for their children,” said the activist.

Besides, the activist pointed out that the state government currently does not have any long-term facilities to take care of such people.

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