VILLUPPURAM: In a shocking turn of events, Tindivanam police on Saturday said the death of a couple and their son on May 15, in a fire believed to have been caused by the air conditioner, was actually the result of a murder plot concocted by the couple’s elder son. Police arrested 33-year-old Govardhanan for allegedly setting the fire and stabbing his father. His wife Deepagayathri, who allegedly caught him in the act but did not raise alarm, was also arrested.
Raji (60), a welder, his wife Kalaiselvi and son Gowthaman (24) were found dead on May 15 after a fire in their house on Subarayan street. Gowthaman was engaged to be married. Police first thought the fire was caused by the AC. But autopsy and forensic reports suggested foul play. On questioning, Govardhanan, police said, said he had planned to kill his parents and brother.
According to police, on the night of May 14, he filled beer bottles with petrol, placed them in the room in which the three were asleep and started the fire. Raji ran out to get help but Govardhanan stabbed him.
Victim’s body had cuts; traces of petrol found
While police initially thought the fire was caused by an electrical issue related to the AC unit, several discoveries raised suspicion.“The fire service team had poured water all over the house and so there was no immediate evidence at the crime scene. However, autopsy revealed that Raji had cuts on his body and had died due to heavy blood loss.
Doctors confirmed that he was not killed in the fire. Meanwhile, forensic reports revealed traces of petrol in all the samples collected from the house. Traces of glass bottle pieces with petrol patches were also identified in the house,” Villupuram Superintendent of Police S Jeyakumar said.Further, while Govardhanan had initially told police that the fire had been caused by an air conditioner blast, the compressor kept outside of the room was undamaged, raising more doubts, police added.
“From his childhood, Govardhanan had felt that his parents loved his brother more and had nursed an insecurity. This feeling intensified when he felt that his parents had not helped him, their eldest son, financially when he faced losses in business.
“As the family planned a grand wedding for the younger son, Govardhanan grew more upset as his wedding had been conducted in a relatively simple way, seven months ago. Further, he said he had argued with his father over property recently and so he had planned to kill them all,” police said. Govardhanan and Deepagayathri will be presented before a magistrate at a Tindivanam court on Monday, said police.