Well-known businesswoman and joint managing director of the $100 million Lanson conglomerate, Reeta Lankalingam, was found dead in the bedroom of her bungalow in Nungambakkam in the city of Chennai on Thursday.
She was 49. The police said it is a case of suicide.
Lanson is famous as the largest group dealing in Toyota automobiles in south India. Reeta’s husband Murugesu Lankalingam, chairman and managing director, was not at home when her body was found at around 9am.
Reeta’s body was found hanging in the bedroom of the house on Kothari Road in the morning.
Police said the four women working at the house did not see her for breakfast by 9am. They knocked at her door and alerted the watchman, who then called the Nungambakam police. The police broke the door open and found her hanging. Reeta had used a saree.
The couple have a son, Leavas, who lives elsewhere in the city while their daughter Lavanya is abroad. The police are clueless as to what led to the “suicide,” and no suicide note has been found.
One of the early theories being offered was that the couple were depressed with the crash of the automobile industry. Lanson Toyota is reported to have been operating at a loss due to a lack of business.
Reeta seems to have clashed with the Toyota bosses at a meeting earlier this week, leading to a souring of relations between the manufacturer and the dealer. It is understood that her husband was angry with her for it. Besides, she is known to have admonished the company’s managers across the state at a meeting last week. They had since complained to Lankalingam about her conduct.
Sources in the police said some of the domestic helps have confided that Reeta and her husband had huge fights during the past few days.
They said he had not been coming home these days. He was found to have been staying a hotel on Wednesday night after she refused him entry when he came home past midnight.
As Reeta’s body lies at Government Kilpauk Medical College Hospital for post-mortem, the police issued a statement saying they consider it as a case of suicide and that further investigation is on. The Lanson group has key interests in food manufacturing and exports, automobile dealership and biotechnology. Lanson Ventures is the division which exports papads.
Reeta was a commerce graduate and was trained in effective personal leadership by Leadership Management International — USA. Her personal profile lists her like this: Avid yoga & karate practitioner, sports buff and a keen golfer having won a few tournaments, avid cooking enthusiast, active member of the YPO Forum, moderator — spouses forum-YPO for year 2013, member Inner Wheel of the Rotary International, avid traveller, adventure sports enthusiast, intense family person caring spouse & parent.
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