KOZHIKODE: It was not the police who blew the lid off six serial murders at Koodathayi near Kozhikode. They, in fact, had twice dismissed them as natural deaths. It is the relentless probe and indomitable spirit of siblings Rojo Thomas, 44, and Renji Thomas, 42, of the Ponnamattam family to ascertain the reason behind the death of their parents (Tom Jose and Annamma), brother (Roy Thomas) and others which unravelled the mystery.
The rest of the family is yet to recover from the shock and come to terms with the fact that Jollyamma Joseph, the daughter-in-law of Tom and Annamma, committed the crime. The reason? She was affable, friendly and respectful towards all.
In an exclusive chat with TNIE, Rojo and Renji narrated how they unmasked Jolly, the prime accused in the six murders. Rojo is an accountant in Florida, US, and Renji is vice-principal of a CBSE school at Vaikom. Earlier, she was an English teacher at a college in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Pinarayi case similarity
Starting the conversation, Renji said, “The determination we’ve shown to take up the case can be attributed to the Pinarayi mass murder case, where a young woman named Soumya killed her parents and daughter by feeding them food laced with poison. But she was caught finally. The Pinarayi case gave us the confidence to move ahead as we could relate to it. Thanks to Soumya.” Renji recalled: “When we decided to pursue the case, I told Rojo that this was a challenge because we didn’t have any strong evidence about the incident that happened several years ago.”
‘We would’ve backed off’
But for two developments, they would have backed off from pursuing the case, said Renji and Rojo.
“First, had Jolly not been adamant about the fake will she prepared and two, had Jolly not married Shaju Sakariya, our first cousin. Since both these incidents happened, we stuck to our decision to move ahead,” said Renji.
How Rojo broke NIT-C myth in 2012
“In 2012 itself, I proved that Jolly was not an employee of NIT-C (National Institute of Technology-Calicut). Nobody believed me and Renji then. When I was at home after the controversy over the fake will, I noticed Jolly was not going to the NIT. When asked, she said there was a strike going on in the institution. Since the reply wasn’t convincing, I decided to go personally to NIT-C and inquire,” Rojo explained.
“The search started from NIT-C campus school. Then I went to NIT-C Higher Secondary School, Regional Engineering College School and Main Engineering College. In the end, I understood there was no one named Jolly in any of the centres on the campus. When I asked Jolly, she pleaded that I let it drop,” he said. Later, Jolly herself started telling relatives and neighbours that I was trying to spread fake news about her, he added.
Rojo said several people, including relatives, called them every day since the filing of the complaint, pressuring them to back off. “But Renji and I were very adamant with the decision we took. Even a committee was formed by the relatives to oppose the reopening of the grave. Even though it evoked apprehensions, we were least bothered. Since I had returned to the US, Renji was running to and fro. This helped her to work more effectively as people were unaware of the fact that she was running behind the case,” Rojo added. When asked what she felt now that the gut-wrenching crime has been unravelled, Renji said, “There is God and that’s for certain.” Her brother nodded in agreement.