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Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019

Kerala cyanide murders: Former CPM leader held for helping Jolly forge will

It all started with a police complaint alleging foul play and a pattern to deaths of members of a north Kerala family. Police exhumed the bodies of the six family members of Ponnamattam House and eventually blew the lid off arguably Kerala’s most shocking case of suspected cold-blooded serial killings in recent times.

india Updated: Nov 22, 2019 21:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
The main accused Jolly Thomas in the cyanide killings case.
The main accused Jolly Thomas in the cyanide killings case.(HT Photo)
         

A former CPM leader was arrested on Friday in the sensational case of suspected cyanide killings of six members of one north Kerala family. The SIT investigating the case had earlier arrested three persons, including the main accused Jolly Joseph (47), who is accused of executing her own family members with cyanide-laced food over a span of 14 years.

K Manoj, a former branch secretary of the CPM was arrested after several rounds of questioning. The SIT believes he helped Jolly forge documents to usurp family properties. Investigators also suspect Manoj was aware of some of the suspected silent killings in the family.

“Since the investigation is on we can’t divulge details now,” said SIT chief K G Simon, also Kozhikode rural SP.

Police claims Manoj signed as a witness on the forged will and had helped Jolly in getting the inheritance decree attested. He was expelled from the party on the suspicion of his involvement in the plot with Jolly.

It all started with a police complaint by a family member, who suspected foul play and alleged a pattern in deaths of his kin, leading to the police exhuming bodies of the six family members of Ponnamattam House and eventually blowing the lid off arguably Kerala’s most shocking case of suspected cold-blooded serial killings in recent times.

Retired teacher and Jolly’s mother-in-law Anamma Thomas was the first to die in 2002 followed by husband Tom Thomas in 2008 and son Roy Thomas in 2011. Anamma’s brother Mathew Manjadiyi died in 2014 and two years later, another relative, Cily, and her one-year-old child died under similar mysterious circumstances. Jolly was the only person to be present at the time of all the deaths.