Man held for wife’s death after evading law for over a year

He had acted naive and created the impression that the victim had eloped with her lover

January 12, 2023 10:06 pm | Updated 10:06 pm IST - KOCHI

A man who had registered a complaint about his ‘missing’ wife last February was found to have allegedly murdered and buried her on his house premises over six months prior to making the plaint.

Sajeev, 48, of Edavanakkad, was arrested by the Njarakkal police on Thursday after he evaded the law for one-and-a-half years. He was charged with murder and destruction of evidence among other things.

The police exhumed the body parts believed to be those of the victim from near the house where he has been staying since the alleged murder. She was reportedly strangulated. The body remains will now be subjected to post-mortem and chemical analysis.

The victim had gone missing since August 2021. Sajeev, however, lodged a complaint only in February 2022. Since then, he had acted naive and created the impression that the victim had eloped with her lover.

A special investigation squad had been formed to probe the case. The Njarakkal police said Sajeev was suspicious about his wife, and that there were frequent quarrels between the two, especially over phone.

On the ill-fated day, when Sajeev came home, the victim was seen talking over the phone. Following this, he forcibly grabbed the phone and the wife confronted him, which eventually led to her alleged strangulation.

“The accused had justified the delay in reporting the missing saying that he was ashamed to reveal that his wife had eloped. But we weren’t convinced, and our suspicions about him further deepened as we unearthed circumstantial evidence to corroborate them. He was under surveillance for long,” said an official involved in the probe.

The teenaged son and daughter of the couple are now staying with their deceased mother’s family. The accused reportedly was planning to marry again.

The probe gathered momentum after District Police Chief (Ernakulam Rural) Vivek Kumar assumed charge and ordered further interrogation of the accused. He had since then been grilled several times, including on Wednesday. He was asked to appear again on Thursday when he was eventually arrested.

The investigating team was led by Additional Superintendent of Police T. Biji George and comprised Njarakkal Inspector Rajan K. Aramana, Munambam Inspector A.L. Yesudas, Sub Inspectors Mahin Salim, Vandana Krishnan, and V.N.M. Dolly, senior civil police officers Devaraj and Shahir, and civil police officers Girijavallabhan, Swarab, Simil, Preejan, and Libisha.

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