'Hand of God' in Kerala family murder case, says daughter of victims

As the probe into the deaths began two months ago, the remains were exhumed on Friday and forensic reports are awaited.

Kozhikode: Seventeen years after the six suspicious deaths in her family, allegedly by being fed cyanide laced food, Renji Thomas feels there is a 'hand of God' in the case, which is why the truth is tumbling out about the "well planned murders" now after all these years.

There was no suspicion about any of the deaths earlier, Renji, sister of Roy Thomas, whose wife Jolly is the prime accused in the case and has been arrested along with two others, said on Monday.

Besides 47-year-old Jolly, MS Mathew, 44, a close friend of the woman and Prajikumar, 48, a man working in a jewellery shop, who had allegedly supplied the cyanide, have so far been arrested.

A Special Investigation Team has been probing the case after receiving a complaint from Roy's US based brother, Rojo, over the six deaths between 2002-2016, which has now shocked the sleepy village of Koodathayi near Vatakara in Kozhikode as new revelations are pouring in.

Renji had lost her mother Annamma Thomas in 2002, father Tom Thomas, in 2008, brother Roy Thomas in 2011. Annama's brother Mathew, who insisted that Roy's body be subjected to post-mortem died in 2014 and one year old Alphine and her mother Philly in 2016.

As the probe into the deaths began two months ago, the remains were exhumed on Friday and forensic reports are awaited.

Jolly got married to Shaju, whose wife Philly and daughter Alphine had died in 2016.

Jolly had woven a web of lies, describing herself as a lecturer at the prestigious National Institute of Technology (NIT), Kozhikode.

She used to leave the house every day morning in a car, saying she was going to the NIT and had also made a fake identity card, police said.

However, this claim was found to be false, as the prime accused, Jolly was not a B.Tech graduate, as claimed by her but a commerce graduate, police said.

Six members of the family had died within a span of six years and it took 17 years for the truth to come out that these were not natural deaths.

Renji said there is a 'hand of God' in this case as the truth was coming out now after such a long time.

"I used to consider Jolly as my elder sister... I used to like her. She used to behave in a friendly manner with everyone", she said.

Renji said even for her father, Jolly was the model daughter-in-law who took care of him after her mother's death. Everyone had only good things to tell about her.

Jolly had got married to Roy in 1997. It was a love turned arranged marriage, said, adding within five years she killed my mother and other members of the family.

However, things began changing after Annamma Thomas's death, as Jolly took control of the reins of the family.

Renji said her brother had died heart-broken as his personal life with Jolly was in shambles.

After he was killed, it was said that he had committed suicide and was an alcoholic.

After Jolly got married to Shaju, Renji said she and her US-based brother Rojo grew suspicious as some forged documents over the property surfaced.

Renji said that for the past three years, neither she or her brother consumed even a glass of water from the house out of fear that they would be poisoned.
"Last week I had gone to the house. I was given a glass of juice and I refused to take it", she said.

All praise for the crime branch police team probing the case, she said it was due to their hard work that the case was cracked.

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