The police on Thursday recorded the arrest of Anu Shanti, the second accused in Wednesday’s double murder at Attingal.

Anu Shanti, 32, the daughter-in-law of Omana and the mother of Swasthika, both of whom were hacked to death by first accused Nino Mathew, 40, knew beforehand about the murder and had helped Nino, her alleged paramour, with sketches of the house and escape routes, the police claimed.

Rajpal Meena, Superintendent of Police (Thiruvananthapuram Rural), and R. Prathapan Nair, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Attingal), who presented the accused before the media at Attingal on Thursday, said the murder was ‘well-planned and premeditated, committed with the intention of making it appear as one committed by burglars and to later enable the two accused to live together’.

Mr. Prathapan Nair said both Nino, who was arrested on Wednesday, hours after the murder, and Anu Shanti were produced in court and remanded in judicial custody.

‘Evidence’

The police on Thursday collected evidence from Nino’s residence in Kulathoor, which they claimed included weapons used for the murder – a machete and a sawn off golf club – apart from gold ornaments worn by Omana and Swasthika.

The ornaments, the police said, were stolen to make the murder appear like one committed during a burglary.

The police claimed they had proof that Nino had purchased chilli powder from a neighbouring shop on Monday with the intention of sprinkling it on the crime scene to prevent a trail.

Abetment charge

On the involvement of Anu Shanti, who has been charged with conspiracy and abetment of crime, Mr. Prathapan Nair said the police had obtained messages and photographs she allegedly sent to Nino via the instant messaging service Whatsapp.

These included sketches of the house and potential escape routes, he said.

The police had other evidence — photographs and video visuals — that established the illicit affair between Nino and Anu Shanti, both of whom were employees of a Technopark firm, he said.

Crucial statement

Mr. Prathapan Nair said the plan of the accused fell apart with Nino failing to kill Lijeesh, who survived the attack with a few, but grievous, injuries.

Lijeesh, in his statement, named Nino as the attacker and the police managed to nab him within hours of the crime from Kazhakuttam.

Terming baseless reports in certain sections of the media that Nino had sent a message to Anu Shanti before he left for Attingal on Wednesday that he had ‘a surprise gift’ for her, Mr. Prathapan Nair said both of them had been planning out the murder together ever since Lijeesh came to know about the affair.