Infant smothered to death over family dispute, say cops

Mother Stella crying with the baby (Toddlers body was hidden under the iron cot along with his toys at Karthik’s house in North Street in Neelasandra.)

In a shocking incident, a 29-day-old infant was smothered to death at a house in North Street near Neelasandra on Friday evening. Ashok Nagar police have detained the father, grandfather and uncle of the deceased baby for further interrogation.

The detained have been identified as C Karthik, 35 (father), Aravind 32, (uncle) and Chittar Raj, 64 (grandfather). The baby was found murdered and hidden under an iron cot along with toys.

The police, meanwhile, suspect that the infant was killed over a family dispute. The autopsy report confirmed that the baby was killed by strangulation, which made the police suspicious of a murder. However, the infant’s father, Karthik, filed a complaint suspecting his own father, Chittar Raj, a retired army man, and his younger brother, Aravind, who works as a labourer in HAL. Karthik’s father, mother and brother lives in the ground floor of the building where the murder took place.

Karthik stated in the complaint that he had married Stella in February this year despite opposition from his family, as she is from a different religion. Later, when they had arguments over the issue, Karthik converted to his wife’s religion. This had forced the couple to live separately in their Neelasandra house. Stella, on November 22, gave birth to twins.

On Friday, one of the twins was not well. So they left the other twin with Karthik’s mother in the same building, and took the sick twin to the doctor.

They returned home around 5.15 pm. Stella left the sick infant in the drawing room, and took the other twin to the bedroom for breastfeeding. Karthik left the house around 5.30 pm to get medicines and returned around 5.45 pm. He noticed that the sick infant who was in the hall had gone missing. They searched everywhere, but could not find the baby. Thereafter, the police were alerted.

Soon after, police arrived at the scene and after a thorough check, found the baby unconscious with a cloth around the neck, under a cot in the bedroom. They rushed the baby to the Bowring Hospital, but, the child was declared brought dead.

Karthik, meanwhile, suspects his father and brother might have killed the infant and has sought action against them.

D Devraj, DCP (Central), told DH that all the family members have been detained for questioning. Police are taking statements of all the family members and are verifying their presence in the house during the time of the murder. “We are yet to get clarity in the case. We have to identify the motive behind the murder as well,” he said.

“There is a lot of confusion in the complaint filed by Karthik, so he is being questioned too. We are investigating all angles. CCTV camera footage from the area is also being analysed as part of the investigation,” the DCP said.

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Infant smothered to death over family dispute, say cops

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