Investigation reveals Koppal ‘suicide pact’ a planned murder

Postmortem report reveals all three victims were strangled, husband of one of victims confesses to murder
Accused Arif Mohammad Gouse
Accused Arif Mohammad Gouse

KOPPAL: The police investigation into the ‘suicide pact’ at a village in Koppal where three members of a family were found dead, has revealed it to be a case of planned murder. The husband of the deceased Vasanta, 32, Arif Mohammad Gouse murdered his mother-in-law Rajeshwari, 52, his step son Saidharmateja, 5, and his wife Vasanta.

The police initially believed that the trio may have entered into a suicide pact as a bottle of poison was found near the bodies. However, the postmortem report revealed that all three died of strangulation. The district police had formed a team to nab the accused.

“It was evident that the accused Arif had a role in the deaths as he did not visit the crime spot and his mobile phone was also switched off. We had apprehended a close aide of Arif, through whom we were able to arrest him in Hosapete. He was brought to Koppal on Wednesday night,” said an investigating officer.

Relatives of the deceased had complained that the accused was forcing Vasanta to get converted to Islam and start wearing burqa. “The couple had a fight during Ramzan when Arif accused Vasanta of not following his traditions. Vasanta is Arif’s second wife. Arif had initially agreed to accept Vasanta and her kid as Hindus. He also allowed her to follow her religion till recently.

After Ramzan, he started behaving strangely and kept pressuring the family to convert,” the officer said.

Arif has confessed to strangling Vasanta’s mother Rajeshwari at her residence using a veil. He had come to her house to convince her to make Vasanta convert. When the mother refused, he killed her. He telephoned Vasanta when she was at her workplace in a doll manufacturing unit. Unaware about her mother lying dead, she returned home only to discover the horror. Her five-year-old son had gone to their relative’s house which is located close by.

The accused reportedly said that he was frustrated as Vasanta became friendly with a colleague at her factory. “I gave her a new lease of life when she got separated from her husband. When I felt cheated, I decided to finish the entire family,” he told the police.

While Vasanta’s body was found in the kitchen, the other two were found dead in the bedroom. To make the murder look like a suicide, the accused tied a cloth to one of the ceiling fans, applied poison to the lips of Vasanta and Rajeshwari and threw a poison bottle near the bodies.

It has also come to light that accused Arif used to refer to the recent murder of Neha Hiremath in Hubballi, among his friends. His close aide shared many thoughts and views of Arif and said he used to propagate that girls who wear burqa are safer than those who don’t wear it.

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