Updated: October 14, 2021 12:30:18 pm
Shortly after 36-year-old Shobhana Patel and her six-year-old daughter reached their apartment after participating in a garba event Sunday night, her husband Tejas surprised them with an ice-cream treat. Unaware that it was to be their last treat, Shobhana and daughter had it and went to bed.
Around 1.30 am, when Tejas heard Shobhana coughing and gasping, he went to the bedroom and strangulated her before strangulating the child. He waited in the bedroom for an hour to make sure that his wife and daughter were “unresponsive” before calling out to his brother-in-law from the lower floor of the apartment to “seek help”.
Vadodara police, which traced the sequence of events leading to the mysterious death of Shobhana and her daughter on October 10, arrested Tejas on Wednesday for the alleged double murder using rat poison.
Lakdhirsinh Zala, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Zone IV of Vadodara city, said, “Our prime suspect was Tejas… The data from his phone also showed that he had searched the internet for topics related to rat poison and its effects on humans. We recovered a used packet from the loft of their residence.”
Police said that in the premeditated plan, Tejas decided to mix the rat poison with ice-cream to kill his wife and daughter. Tejas was booked for murder at Sama police station on Wednesday after autopsy reports confirmed the presence of rat poison in the bodies of the two deceased.
Zala added that neighbours had told investigators that there was no rodent menace in the residential colony, adding to the suspicion on Tejas after police found a newly opened packet of the rat poison in the house.
“We had begun interrogating him as a suspect while awaiting reports and also put him through forensic tests. He broke down during the interrogation and confessed to have killed his wife and daughter,” Zala said.
The DCP added that primary investigation also revealed that Tejas had been pursuing another woman in a one-sided relationship and wanted to plan his life ahead with her. “We are yet to investigate if the woman is aware of the crime but in his confession, Tejas described it as a one-sided affair…,” Zala said.
Police also added that Tejas had previously threatened to kill his wife or commit suicide during a marital discord. “They especially had disagreements over his sister who did not get along with Shobhana. Tejas was living in his wife’s maternal home and that was also an issue between the couple,” Zala said.
An investigating officer added that since the poison had taken effect on Shobhana and the child, Tejas did not have to exert much pressure while strangulating them, ensuring that the marks on Shobhana’s neck were inconclusive. Tejas also said that he did not want to kill the daughter but was unsure if he would be able to “raise her without a mother”, the officer said.
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