The eight-year-old and her younger brother were left for dead, but survived

Two men have been arrested for the murder of a couple and for an attempt to murder their two children at Ribander in north Goa.

Oswan Lucas Fernandes, a contractor, and his accomplice Ramesh Tayaji Bhagve, a labourer, were arrested by the Goa police on Tuesday and produced before the magistrate at Sanguem on Wednesday. They have been remanded in police custody for five days.

The murder of the labourer couple, who were from Kolhapur, came to light on Tuesday when the police found the body of Shivaji Nayak (40) buried in a construction pit at Ribander, and that of his wife, Sujata Nayak (35), thrown in the valley at Anmod Ghat in Karnataka.

Their search was based on the statement of their eight-year-old daughter who was found by a Good Samaritan on the roadside.

An attempt was made to strangle her and her five-year-old brother, and they were left for dead near Anmod Ghat.

Chain of events

According to the police, on May 11, Oswan, who supplies construction material, had an altercation with his labourer Shivaji. The clash ended in Shivaji’s murder reportedly at the hands of Oswan and Ramesh.

When Sujata came the next morning to enquire about her husband, she was told he was in hospital. On the pretext of looking for him, Oswan, on May 13, took her and her children to Mollem, where he strangled her in the car and threw the body in the valley. The duo then tried to strangle the boy and girl, and hurled them out of the car as well.

In a stroke of luck, both children survived. The girl, after she regained consciousness, managed to climb to the road. She was spotted crying on the side of the road early on Tuesday by Bonaventure D’Souza, a Goan who was returning from Belgaum.

Having rescued the boy as well, Mr. D’Souza then drove them to the Mollem police out-post and then to Collem police station.

While the police were bringing both the children to Panaji, the girl identified Oswan and his car.

Oswan and Ramesh were immediately arrested.

Recovering

The police said on Wednesday that both children were recovering.