In an attempt to remove a ‘curse’ that was haunting her family, a 35-year-old woman killed her nephew’s two-and-a-half-year-old son, by holding him down in a tub full of water.
The gruesome killing that took place on Tuesday in BV Colony, MKB Nagar, only came to light on Saturday, after a witness approached the police. Police said that the child, Gishnu, was the only son of Senthil Kumar, a mason, and Geetha, residents of 27th Street, BV Colony.
Maheswari, Senthil’s aunt, lived in a portion of the couple’s home, and used to look after Gishnu when his parents were out.
On Tuesday, both Senthil and Geetha were not at home. In the afternoon, neighbours heard Maheswari raise an alarm, saying that Gishnu had accidentally drowned in a 3-ft. plastic tub, in the bathroom of a neighbour, Sophia. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The body was cremated the next day.
However, on Saturday, Sophia approached the MKB Nagar police and told them the child had been brutally murdered.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Sophia said she had seen Maheswari push the boy into the tub of water. “I saw the killing but I was too scared to go to the police then. Later, I told my husband about it and he encouraged me to report it,” she said.
Based on her complaint, police arrested Maheswari. She confessed to the killing and also admitted to covering it up to make it look like an accident.
“Maheswari said last Sunday, she had seen a fortune-teller who had told her he would help eliminate a curse on the family that was causing a rift amongst its members. He gave her a charm that she hung on her thali chain. She claims she then went into a trance and committed the murder,” said S. Jayakumar, additional commissioner of police (Pulianthope).
Police are on the lookout for the fortune-teller.