Kerala

Serial murders: CB to seek custody of suspects

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Jolly’s house sealed; Shaju to be interrogated again

The Crime Branch will soon move the Thamarassery Judicial First Class Magistrate Court seeking the police custody of Jolly Shaju, 47; M.S. Mathew, 44; and P. Prajikumar, 48; the three suspects who were remanded in judicial custody on Saturday in connection with the Koodathayi serial murder case. They will be taken to the crime spots at Koodathayi and Kodencheri to collect more evidence in the case.

The house where Jolly lived along with her new husband Shaju after the death of six persons, including her former husband Roy Thomas, father-in-law Tom Thomas and mother-in-law Annamma Thomas, was sealed by the police.

Bid to shift papers

It was put under surveillance as Shaju apparently tried to move some documents from the house to another location. Though he claimed that it was his book collection, the police have started a separate investigation into the incident.

Sources said there could have been property documents in the bundle. The police had found that there were serious property disputes within the family which ultimately led to the serial murders in which Jolly Shaju reportedly played the lead role.

Crime Branch sources said they would again interrogate Shaju to verify his claim that he was not aware of the role played by his wife in the murder of six persons, including his former wife and child. Though he was taken into custody on Saturday for interrogation, he was later allowed to go. According to police sources, Shaju had seemed unaffected by the death of his former wife Sily and child Alphine.

‘To kill a dog’

Though the arrests of M.S. Mathew and P. Prajikumar were recorded following the suspicion that the duo arranged cyanide for Jolly, the police sources said the two were not directly involved in the murders. During the interrogation, they claimed that the woman secured cyanide for killing a dog. Police sources said so far, arrests had been recorded only after securing solid evidence. Same rules would be applied in future too.

The first death occurred in 2002. The victim was Annamma Thomas who died soon after having some home-made food. Six years later, her husband Tom Thomas died the same way. Their son Roy Thomas lost his life in 2011. All three showed the same symptoms of poisoning. The other three deaths occurred in 2014 and 2016. Annamma’s brother Mathew Manchadiyil, who had expressed doubts about the deaths, Sily and Alphine were the victims. They too reportedly died of having cyanide-laced food.

The conspiracy was exposed when Rojo Thomas, son of Tom Thomas, filed a confidential petition with the Crime Branch seeking a probe into the deaths in his family. He had also submitted the proof of some land deals in which the suspects tried to take control of the properties of the murdered persons.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 2:32:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/serial-murders-cb-to-seek-custody-of-suspects/article29612038.ece

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