CHENNAI: The Chennai city police in the wee hours of Friday arrested three men in connection with the shocking murder of three members of a family in Sowcarpet. Police said the brother-in-law of one the deceased had brought two guns from his native Maharashtra and fired four shots to kill them. From preliminary enquiries, police said a prolonged marital dispute and alleged domestic violence led to the murders on Wednesday night.
The incident came to light on Wednesday when family members found Dileep Thalil Chand (74), his wife Pushpa Bhai (70) and their son Sheetal Jain (40) dead with bullet injuries in their house at Vinayagar Mestri Street in Sowcarpet. Police found that on the same night around 7.30, Sheetal's wife Jayamala, two of her brothers and two more men had entered the house and later left in two cars.
As a family dispute is pending over the strained relationship between Sheetal and Jayamala, police suspected the killings to be a fallout of that and started tracing these five with the help of Maharashtra police. At around 2 am on Friday, the special police team nabbed one of Jayamala's brothers, Kailash, and two of his friends at a tollgate near Solapur in Maharashtra.
After Kailash's arrest, police said he had confessed to killing all the three with the guns he had brought from his native village near Pune in Maharashtra.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, A Arun, Additional Commissioner of Police, North, said Kailash and his friends, Rabindakar and Vijay, were apprehended and they are tracing Jayamala and her other brother Vikas. “Two guns were used to kill the victims and we secured one of them. Kailash confessed to murdering the trio. Kailash was a local thug in his native village and had bought guns from there,” said A Arun.
Based on the confession statements of Kailash, police said he did it to take revenge for the years of domestic violence his sister was allegedly subjected to by Sheetal and his parents. The couple were married for 16 years and from the initial days the relationship was not smooth. Finally in January, Jayamala left her in-laws' house along with her two children and moved to Pune.
With a divorce case pending in court, Jayamala had filed a separate case in Pune that Sheetal is a mentally unstable person and his family cheated her into marrying him. Sheetal had also filed a complaint in Chennai alleging that his wife's family was threatening them seeking huge sums as alimony.
Police said the issues erupted as soon after the marriage, arranged by the families, Sheetal's family found out that Jayamala hailed from a "lower caste" though from the Jain community. Also, Jayamala's family could not pay the dowry demanded by Sheetal's family.
"Kailash claims that over the years the torture increased as Sheetal's family physically assaulted and abused Jayamala for hiding her 'lower caste status' at the time of marriage," said a police officer.
Jayamala had mentioned her plight to her family but could not go home as Sheetal demanded their children be with him, said the police. Finally, this January she left to her parents' house in Pune. The family dispute became worse since then due to the mutual police complaints and Jayamala's family demanding alimony from Sheetal's family.
“Jayamala, her two brothers and two more of their friends came to Chennai on Wednesday in the guise of having a negotiation with Sheetal's family. After entering the house and a few arguments, Kailash killed three of his in-laws," said the police officer.