Thiruvananthapuram

Nanthancode murder accused in critical state

Caddell Jeansen Raja, the 26-year-old undertrial, charged with killing his parents, sister, and aunt at their house in Nanthancode here in 2017, was admitted to the Medical College Hospital (MCH) here in a critical condition on Thursday.

Superintendent, Central Prison, S. Santosh, said a jailer had spotted Raja frothing from the mouth at around 4.30 a.m.

Mr. Santosh had assigned a single occupancy cell to the undertrial in closely watched Block 10 because of his history of mental illness. The jailers rushed Raja to the MCH where doctors admitted him in critical care.

A spokesperson of the MCH said Raja was not responding to medication. She noted he had profound speaking and breathing difficulty at the time of admission. He also showed signs of an “altered sensorium,” a condition that could be drug-induced or caused due to trauma to the brain.

Was under medication

Raja was under medication for anxiety disorders, bouts of intense panic, and depression. He exhibited a suicidal streak in custody and had been treated briefly at the State Mental Health Centre here.

Jailers administered him potent psychiatric drugs under tight watch. However, there was the chance that he could have made a pretension of swallowing the tablets and then hidden them to consume them in bulk to inflict self-harm.

Officials said Raja was mostly quiet and withdrawn. He had the disturbing habit of talking to himself at night. Rarely, he would show signs of aggression.

The killings that invited public attention and shocked the capital unfolded over a period of three days in April last.

The police had cited Raja’s “anger towards his parents who, the suspect stated, were overbearing and contemptuous of his academic underachievement” as the motive for the crime. He had also told investigators that his family had walled him in from the rest of the world and frowned if he brought friends home or socialised with his peers outside. A role-playing violent video game that showcased axe killings had provided the template for the murder. The prosecution case was that Raja hacked his family to death and set their bodies on fire using petrol.

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 6:00:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/nanthancode-murder-accused-in-critical-state/article22526189.ece

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