Spooked by superstition,Tamil Nadu man kills infant grandson

Early on Friday, June 14, Sangeetha had fed the baby and fallen asleep. Veeramuthu went out and, upon returning home, asked Sangeetha where the baby was, police said.
 S Veeramuthu
S VeeramuthuPhoto | Express

ARIYALUR: A 58-year-old man, S Veeramuthu, was arrested on Monday near Jayankondam for the murder of his month-old grandson on Friday. Police said he had become fearful that the birth of the child in the Tamil month of Chithirai would bring bad luck to the family.

According to police, the infant’s parents — S Balamurugan (29) from Sundaraperumalkoil, Thanjavur, and V Sangeetha (21) from Utkottai, Ariyalur — got married in 2023. Some months ago, Sangeetha became pregnant and moved to her parents’ home ahead of the delivery. On May 7 she gave birth to a baby boy.

Early on Friday, June 14, Sangeetha had fed the baby and fallen asleep. Veeramuthu went out and, upon returning home, asked Sangeetha where the baby was, police said. Sangeetha realised the infant was missing and the family began a search. Eventually, the baby was found wrapped in a cloth and drowned inside a drum of water stored in the house, police said. Sangeetha informed the authorities of the death. A case was filed and her kin were brought in for questioning.

‘Baby’s zodiac sign posed danger to Veeramuthu’

“During inquiry, it was found that Veeramuthu had taken huge loans for his daughter’s wedding. Lenders had been hounding him about the money. Moreover, he had borrowed more money to buy gold jewellery for the newborn.

This situation had made him depressed,” police said. Furthermore, some villagers had also said that the child’s zodiac sign posed a danger to Veeramuthu, who shared these fears with Balamurugan and his family. As a result of these superstitious beliefs, the 58-year-old decided to kill the baby, police said.

Initially he had planned to abandon the baby somewhere far away but finally decided to drown him, police noted. “We were suspicious of Veeramuthu right from the beginning as he did not cooperate with the investigation. The information he provided contradicted what he had told the Utkottai VAO S Neelamegam. We concluded that Veeramuthu had committed the murder based on information provided by his family and his son-in-law,” police said.

On Sunday night, the accused had feigned innocence and gotten admitted to the local government hospital for health issues, police added. Based on a complaint by the VAO, Inspector N Ramarajan arrested Veeramuthu on Monday. He was remanded in Tiruchy Central Prison.

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