The police have arrested a 38-year-old man in Didwara village of Jind district in Haryana for allegedly killing all five of his children over the past four years — two of them in the last few weeks.
Police sources said the accused, Jummadin, first confessed to the village’s panchayat on Thursday, after which he was handed over to the authorities. A migrant labourer, Jummadin also told the police that his wife is pregnant with the couple’s sixth child.
The killings came to light after two of the accused’s daughters, a seven-year-old and a 11-year-old, went missing under mysterious circumstances on July 15. Jummadin had lodged a missing report on July 16, in which he alleged that he and his wife Reena were sleeping when an unidentified man abducted his daughters. When questioned further, he did not provide satisfactory replies, said police sources.
Subsequently, on July 20, a group of local residents were playing near the Hansi Butana canal when they spotted the body of a child. After the police were informed, Jummadin was called to the spot and he identified the body as that of his younger daughter. A search operation was launched and a few hours later, the older daughter’s body was also found in the canal, said police sources. Postmortem examination of both bodies were conducted and drowning was pronounced as the cause of death, they added.
The police said Jummadin’s brother-in-law, Ahsan, who lives in the neighbouring Barot village also raised suspicions over his version of events.
“Ahsan’s sister, Reena, is married to Jummadin. Ahsan also mentioned that despite repeated questioning, Jummadin could not provide any credible reply as to how both girls went missing. Thus, the village panchayat was involved and the villagers told us that Jummadin confessed to having killed all five of his children under the influence of a Kaithal-based occultist. However, he has not told the police anything about this occultist,” Jind’s Assistant Superintendent of Police Ajit Singh Shekhawat said.
During the preliminary interrogation, police sources said, Jummadin said he had drugged both his daughters and thrown them into the canal. He also allegedly told villagers that he killed all his children because he was not financially capable of raising them.
The police said that they were also consulting a psychiatrist to shed more light on the case.
“During the probe, it was discovered that Jummadin’s three children too had died earlier under mysterious circumstances. Villagers told the police that Jummadin had said that he first killed his three-year old-son and four-year-old daughter in 2017, then killed his 18-month-old daughter in 2019… Yesterday, he approached village sarpanch Sanjeev’s brother Pramod and confessed to having killed all his children. On the three earlier murders, he told villagers that he strangulated two of them and poisoned the third. The sarpanch then informed the police…” a senior police officer said.
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