A 38-year-old man has been arrested in Haryana's Jind district after he confessed to killing his five children in the last four years, including two of them recently, a senior police official said on Friday. The man, identified only as Jumma, is a labourer and belongs to a village in Safidon in Jind, he said, adding that his wife is pregnant with the sixth child.
The bodies of two of his daughters, ages 11 and 7, were recovered from the Hansi-Butana Link canal near his home in Didwara village on July 20, five days after the accused had lodged a police complaint stating the duo had gone missing. However, during the course of investigation, Jumma kept changing his statements which raised suspicion, Jind Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Ajit Singh Shekhawat told PTI over the phone.
The police presumed that he was under mental stress due to the death of his children and did not subject him to sustained questioning at the moment. The village panchayat was later involved in the investigation, and the man confessed before them and later, the police, that he killed his five children.
Jumma admitted that he drugged his two minor daughters and threw them in the canal a few days ago, the ASP said. "We arrested him on Thursday evening, and he has been charged with murder," said Shekhawat.
Earlier, Jumma's three children, all below 11, had also died mysteriously. At that time, he had told his neighbours that one of his sons died in sleep, a daughter died while playing and another son started vomiting and died.
"He has now confessed that he killed those three children as well. While two of them were strangulated by him, one was administered a poisonous tablet," the police officer said. Shekhawat said in the recent case, while the accused administered some intoxicants to two of his daughters before throwing them in the canal, he had also given some drugs to his wife.
"He had kept his wife, who was pregnant with the sixth child, under heavy sedation during past few days," he said. Asked if Jumma had taken the steps under the influence of some 'tantrik' (occultist), Shekhawat said the accused is believed to have mentioned something in this regard to the villagers, but no such statement has been made before the police yet.
The police will seek the help of a mental health expert in the case to further question the accused and find the exact motive which led him to kill his own children, he added.