A towel and three pairs of shorts hang on the clothesline of flat SF 175B in Ghaziabad’s Indirapuram, where 40-year-old Sumit Kumar allegedly killed his wife and three children on Saturday. According to police, he allegedly poisoned and stabbed his wife Anshu Bala (33) and slit the throats of his children, Prathamesh (5) and twins Arav and Akriti (4), in two separate rooms of their 2BHK flat in Gyan Khand 4.
Sumit, who worked with a software firm in Bengaluru until two months ago, is on the run and police are trying to trace his phone. A guard in the locality, Inderjit Kashyap, claimed Sumit left early on Sunday with a black backpack and said he would return in a couple of hours.
Police have arrested a local chemist who allegedly sold cyanide to Sumit, used to poison the family. “We found Sumit had purchased cyanide and other drugs from the shop. On further checking, it was found that the chemist, Mukesh, had some restricted items. He has been arrested,” said Sandeep Kumar Singh, SHO (Indirapuram).
Just two weeks ago, the family had celebrated the fourth birthday of the twins. Anshu’s family claimed Sumit had seemed “happy”. “On Sunday evening, Sumit’s brother informed us that something happened at the flat. They told us Sumit sent a confession video on their family WhatsApp group, in which he talked of the murder. He was sitting in the washroom of a train compartment. I refuse to believe his brother was not aware of what had happened. In fact, his family made sure he had enough time to escape,” alleged Meera, Anshu’s mother. “When we received the initial call from his brother, he asked us to not reveal Sumit’s name to the police. Why would he tell us that?” she alleged.
The bodies were discovered by Anshu’s brother Pankaj Singh, who lives nearby. The woman’s family also claimed that Sumit did not discuss financial troubles with them. “We had no reason to believe there were issues. He took care of the children. We were staying with them but had to go out of town for a wedding. We weren’t here when it happened,” claimed BN Singh, Anshu’s father, a retired engineer from the Armed Forces.
Robin, who lives in the flat opposite Sumit’s, recalled: “He would talk about engineering and computers… He also knew things like what happens if you pour oil on a dog’s tail, or mass killing of stray dogs in Nepal. It wasn’t anything violent, just different. Often it would be over a smoke, since he would smoke every half an hour.”
Sumit had expressed a desire to find a job in NCR so he could stay with family, claimed neighbours. He told people he had returned home to treat a throat infection, which he claimed was earlier diagnosed as cancer. “He had a minor tonsil issue. A narrative is being created by his family to make it appear like he was the victim,” claimed Meera.