The police will seek the custody of Subrahmanyan Namboodiri, 38, and Devika, 41, the couple who were remanded in Judicial custody on Wednesday in connection with the death of a Class One student here.

The parents, who were arrested on the basis of medical reports confirming clear evidence of physical torture of the six-year-old, will be grilled to unveil the mystery behind the incident.

In the preliminary investigation, some of the neighbours have given statements to the Nadakkavu police that the duo had regularly beaten up the child for flimsy reasons. They also revealed to the police that the accused, currently charged under section 302 of the IPC, were heedless of stopping the practice despite the frequent warning of the local residents.

Preliminary investigation says Devika had a criminal background that was largely unknown. She got married to Subrahmanyan Namboodiri nearly six months after the death of his wife in a motorcycle accident. For the past two years, the girl child and her elder brother were under the care of their father and step mother.

As per the latest investigation reports, Devika was married twice before entering the wedlock with Subrahmanyan Namboodiri after embracing Hinduism. Also, she was not a legal divorcee and kept the matter hidden from others. On detailed inquiry, the police found that her original name was Ramla and that she was an accused in a temple theft case in Aluva.

A senior police officer in the investigation team said the involvement of Devika in the temple theft cases and other suspected financial malpractices would be probed in detail after getting her in custody. The police officials said they would also collect evidence from more neighbours and the Childline volunteers who intervened in the issue at different points of time.

A 42-year-old man, who stayed with the family and claimed that he was the brother of Devika, too would be questioned further.

The child was brought dead to the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital on Tuesday. The post-mortem examination report says the cause of the death is a head injury and prolonged physical torture. The previous day, she had been admitted to a private hospital in the city with the claim that she was suffering from epilepsy.

The tragic story came to light after the release of the post-mortem examination report. It found that there were marks made by a sharp object on many parts of the body besides burns. It was also seen that strands of hair were pulled out of her head.

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