Tamil Nadu: Missing boy’s body found in almirah; neighbour, husband arrested

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Tamil Nadu police have arrested a 32-year-old woman for allegedly murdering a four-year-old boy and concealing his body in an almirah in her house. The woman’s husband was also arrested for helping her to hide the body.

Kolachel DSP Thanga Raman said the child was smothered to death before his body was concealed inside the steel almirah.

According to the police, the accused Fathima and her husband Sarobin (37) had been staying at Kadiyapattinam coastal town near Colachel in Kanyakumari district. The deceased boy, Johan, too lived in the area with his mother Sagaya Shilja and sister, while his father John Richard is a fisherman in the Middle East.

On January 21, Johan, who was playing outside his residence, did not return home as usual. After having searched for him all over the area, Shilja lodged a complaint at the Manavalakulichi police station.

The police registered a case. Based on the details provided by Johan’s mother, the cops suspected that the child may have been abducted for the gold ornaments he was wearing. Those in the locality were soon questioned. When the police sought details from Fathima, she allegedly did not provide valid answers and was taken to the station for further enquiry.

Meanwhile, the police said villagers too joined the search for the missing child and soon found the unconscious boy in the almirah at Fathima’s house on Saturday. His hands and legs were tied and cloth was stuffed into his mouth. The boy was rushed to the hospital where doctors declared him dead on arrival. Enraged, the locals ransacked Fathima’s house. Cops were deployed in large numbers to ease the tension in the town.

According to the police, Fathima confessed that she tried to steal the boy’s gold ornaments weighing 9 grams as she was in debt and the lenders were pestering her to return the money immediately.

She was booked under section 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence), 342 (wrongful confinement) and other relevant sections of the IPC. The couple were later remanded in judicial custody for 15 days. Their two children have temporarily been sent to an orphanage in the town.

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