Kerala cyanide killings: Jolly Joseph slits her wrist in jail, condition stable
The prime accused in Kerala cyanide killings, Jolly Joseph (47), tried to commit suicide by slitting her wrist in the Kozhikkode district jail in the early hours of Thursday, jail officials said. She was immediately rushed to the Kozhikkode Medical College Hospital where her condition is stable.
Jail officials said they got to know about the incident at 4.30 am when fellow inmates alerted them. She reportedly told officials that she cut her wrist with her tooth and sharp edge of the plate used to serve food to the inmates. Officials were keeping a close watch on her as earlier too she had shown suicidal tendencies.
She was arrested with three others for allegedly killing six of her family members by giving them cyanide-laced food. The special investigation team that probed the sensational case had filed charge sheets in six murder cases. Her journey came to an abrupt end even as she was planning to get married for the third time.
The special investigation team had arrested four people last October for allegedly killings six members of the Ponnamatam family in Koodathai (Kozhikkode district) in a span of 14 years after giving them cyanide-laced food. These killings which took place between 2002 and 2016 were planned and carried out with clinical precision attracting national attention. The other accused are Mathew, Prachi Kumar and K Manoj, a former CPI (M) leader. Later, the party had expelled him from its primary membership.
The first to get killed in the spate of serial murders were the in-laws of Jolly, retired teacher Anamma Thomas in 2002 and her husband Tom Thomas, also a retired teacher, in 2008. Their son Roy Thomas, (Jolly’s first husband), died in 2011 and another relative Mathew, the brother of Anamma, died in 2014. In 2016, another relative Sily and her one-year-old child died under mysterious circumstances.
All the deaths were “natural” till the police blew the lid off after digging up six graves. During the investigation, the police also found that Jolly had been faking her profession as a professor of the National Institute of Technology in Kozhikkode for 14 years. Among the witnesses are her two children whose statements were recorded before a magistrate. All the four accused have been charged with murder, conspiracy, destroying of evidence, forgery and other charges.