The story of an engineer, who burnt to death his wife and two daughters as part of an alleged suicide pact because the couple believed the whole family was HIV-positive, turned on its head on Thursday with doctors saying that the engineer had tested negative for the dreaded virus.
An HIV test on the engineer was carried out on Thursday.
According to sources, a team of doctors from the community health centre Multai led by Dr Praveen Shukla visited Multai police station and took the blood sample of the engineer, who was reportedly not willing to give his blood sample.
Talking to Hindustan Times over phone, Dr Shukla said the test was conducted by both methods — Rapid Kit and EliSa — and reports from both methods were found negative. "The police approached me and asked for conducting a HIV test. He has been found negative and I have submitted the report to police," said Dr Shukla.
A senior police official, on condition of anonymity, also confirmed that the HIV test had been conducted and the engineer was found HIV negative. "The story being told by the engineer is suspicious since the very first day. We are yet to get (the) report from the pathology, where he claimed to have tested positive. If the pathology report says that he was HIV positive, an HIV test may be carried out again," said the officer.
Superintendent of police (SP) Betul, RK Jain, however, said he has not received the report. "Let me first go through the report, and then I will comment," said Jain.
He further said a police team had been sent to the pathology laboratory in Bundhelkhand region, where the engineer had claimed to have tested positive.
He also said that the police were also waiting for the post mortem report of the bodies, which were found in a charred state in the car.
The 39-year-old engineer had earlier claimed that he and his 37-year-old wife had undergone tests for confirmation of HIV positive seven months ago. He had also claimed the daughters, aged nine and two, had been tested.
Later, on Wednesday, he changed his statement and told interrogations that only he had gone for a test about seven months ago after developing sores in his mouth that could not be treated. About three months ago, his wife developed similar sores in her mouth that did not respond to treatment, the engineer had claimed.
Meanwhile on Thursday, the engineer was taken to his home town Amravati in Maharashtra. A team of Betul police is already camping in Amravati town and gathering information about the engineer, said the sources.
The engineer had gone to Amravati with his family on February 28. On the return journey on March 3, he stopped at Gaunapur Ghat in Multai, sprinkled petrol over his car and set it on fire. He then pushed the burning car off the road.
Police sources said that the statements of engineer's wife's family were also recorded and they claimed that the engineer was cooking a story to save himself.
(With inputs by Rajesh Bhatia from Betul)