Three days after a Madanapalle couple, who believe in tantric rituals and reincarnation, killed their two daughters, the mother continues to make outlandish claims.
Dr V Purushotham Naidu is an associate professor at the Government Women's Degree College in Madanapalle and his wife V Padmaja runs a famous private education institute in the Chittoor town.
On Sunday, the Madanapalle teacher couple had bludgeoned their two daughters - Alekhya (27) and Sai Divya (22) - to death with a dumbbell, believing that “it would expel the evil spirits that possessed them," police had said, adding that the couple confessed to have committed the crime.
The couple was arrested on Tuesday morning from their home where the horrifying incident took place.
When they were later taken to a government facility for a check-up and Covid-19 tests, Padmaja resisted the swab sample collection, all the while claiming that she is an embodiment of Lord Shiva and that Covid-19 is “from Shiva's body particle sent to help end the Kaliyuga.”
“Corona came from me, I have sent it to this world to eliminate the godforsaken, during the Kaliyuga's end. It has not come from China,” Padmaja announced to the much astonishment of the posse of medical and police personnel around.
“I have halahal (poison) in my throat. No need to test me. You are insulting me. You will see my fury,” Padmaja said, giving a tough time to the staff.
Padmaja even announced that the pandemic would end in March without the vaccine requirement. “All the pharmaceutical companies would have to shut down,” she said.
“Even if you do not agree that I am Shiva, it is ok. But I am not going to die of Corona,” Padmaja told the police who were pleading her to cooperate.
When Naidu tried to intervene to calm her down, Padmaja told him not to try to control her as “you are not my husband now.”
After being produced in a court, the couple were sent to a 14-day judicial custody and were lodged in Madanapalle sub-jail.
Speaking to DH, Madanapalle DSP Ravi Manohar Achari admitted that “it is the most bizarre and, at the same time, a very sad case to deal with.”
“We were astounded by their talks, claims. I am unable to comprehend their behaviour and anyway, not the competent person to comment on their state of mind,” Achari says.
Police said that only the four were present inside the house at the time of the crime and that while admitting to the brutal act, they were asking police for a day's time to bring their kids back to life.
“The way the couple is talking, it seems they have transcended to another kind of world. They are refusing to explain how it would be possible. It is Srishti-rahasyam they say,” Achari said.
Social media posts by the girls also suggest that they were willful participants of the shocking rituals.
“'Work is done!,' 'Shiva is coming!!!',” Alekhya had posted on her Instagram account four days ago.
Alekhya completed a post-graduate course in forest management from IIFM, Bhopal, while Divya is a graduate in business administration from Bengaluru.
One of the girls' body was recovered from their puja room. The girls' scalp was partially tonsured.
While some reports stated that the husband-wife duo was refusing food in the sub-jail and would be shifted to a hospital in Tirupati, the DSP said that the two are in the Madanapalle jail only.
Naidu's colleagues expressed disbelief over the incident. “They are doting parents, doing everything for their kids' happiness. They are very devotional, especially of Shirdi Sai Baba, but it is unbelievable that they have become superstitious to such extreme level,” a teacher said.