Gujarat: 5 months after 40-year-old man’s murder, 5 detained

According to police, five members of one family had allegedly poisoned the man under the pretext of organising a toddy party to seek revenge as he was involved in an extramarital affair with one of the two women accused in the case.

The Vadodara taluka police station Tuesday detained five persons for the alleged murder of a 40-year-old man in Sherkhi village, whose poisoned body was discovered in November last year. According to police, five members of one family had allegedly poisoned the man under the pretext of organising a toddy party to seek revenge as he was involved in an extramarital affair with one of the two women accused in the case.

According to Police Inspector JD Sarvaiyya of Vadodara taluka police station, the police had recovered the body of the deceased on November 15 last year from near a local Dhaba in Sherkhi village, where the accused had allegedly invited him for a “toddy party”. The police, which had received the autopsy report the next day stating the cause of death to be poisoning, had registered a case of accidental death.

Sarvaiyya said, “The chances of foul play were high but we did not have any evidence and poison in toddy is also common. However, the accused revealed their own story to a common acquaintance this week, thus leading us to crack the case. They had been under suspicion but had evaded the questions with ease.”

According to police, the deceased allegedly had an extramarital affair with an accused woman, aged 41, who was his co-worker at a private company in Vadodara.

Sarvaiyya said, “The two met in the company where they worked and entered into a physical relationship. Slowly, the family learnt of their affair and the objected to it. Last year, the daughter-in-law of the woman complained that the deceased was making indecent advances towards her. That is when the mother-in-law called off her relationship and decided to teach him a lesson, the accused have admitted.”

On November 14, the family –the woman’s husband, son, daughter-in-law and son-in-law — got together and laced the deceased’s toddy with lethal poison, police said. “This week, the daughter-in-law visited a common acquaintance, who lives in the neighbourhood of the deceased and revealed the story. The wife of the deceased also learnt the story and confronted the accused and approached the police.”

The Taluka police station has booked the five accused under IPC section 302 for culpable homicide amounting to murder, 201 for the disappearance of evidence, 328 causing hurt by poison and 120 (b) for criminal conspiracy.

The accused will be formally arrested following the mandatory Covid-19 test.

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