The UT Police have arrested a 40-year-old mother of four for choking her youngest daughter of two years to death, dumping the body at least 20 km from her home and then misleading her family till the dog-eaten disfigured body of the child — packed in a rice sack — was accidentally discovered, more than 16 hours after the crime, on Tuesday morning.
Manju Devi (40), wife of Rameshwar Singh, who works as a gardener with Markfed Punjab Office, Sector 35, committed the murder as she was fed up with the responsibilities of handling the stresses of raising four young children, the police have claimed.
The family stays in Sarangpur and had recently shifted residence within the village. “She has confessed to the murder,” said a police official. The case was jointly handled by DSP (crime) Jagbir Singh and DSP (central) Satish Kumar.
Two-year-old was defenceless
DSP Kumar added that even though the murder of Piyu (2) could be attributed to a fit of rage, she had told the police that she had been thinking about killing one of her children for some time and had decided that Piyu would be killed as she would not fight back. All her three other children — a girl and two boys — are older than Piyu.
“Manju was depressed. She had confessed to having killed her daughter around 4pm on Monday and then dumping the body,” Kumar added.
The hunt for leads
With no sexual assault visible on the child’s body and no ransom call, the police suspected the hand of an insider. The mother emerged as a prime suspect after she was unable to explain the presence of sacks similar to the ones in which the body was found, in her house.
On questioning from crime branch officials, the siblings of the deceased told the police that Manju had thrashed Piyu before her disappearance. Soon, Manju confessed to the murder.
Accused misled husband
The father of the deceased had, in fact, seen the sack when the body was still packed in it, but Manju misled him by claiming that it was for the family where she worked as a help.
Even when the family launched a search for the child on Monday evening, she pretended to be part of the team.
She even exhorted her husband to lodge a missing complaint. The police have claimed that the confession of the accused, Manju Devi (40) helped them nail the accused. The post-mortem report is awaited.
Wednesday morning arrest
Police sources claimed that they arrested Manju around 7am on Wednesday as women could not be arrested after sunset without a magisterial order.