Though the father has ‘confessed’ to killing his child, the police are grappling with discrepancies in his statement.

A collage of Sanu Mohan in a blue shirt, with a beard and his daughter Vaiga wearing yellow top, both are looking into the camera
news Crime Monday, April 19, 2021 - 15:29

It was on March 22 that 13-year-old Vaiga’s dead body was found floating in Muttar river in Kerala's Ernakulam district. Almost a month after her death, Kochi police have formally arrested her father, Sanu Mohan, for murdering his daughter. Though the father has ‘confessed’ to killing his child, the police are grappling with discrepancies in his statement and have said they will depend on scientific proof to prove the case.

On March 21, Sanu, a businessman, had dropped his wife Remya at a relative’s house in Alappuzha and had headed back to his apartment at Kangarappady in Kochi, along with Vaiga. Sanu, who was arrested from Karwar in Karnataka on April 18, told the police that he had a debt amounting to crores and wanted to kill his entire family. However, since his wife would not agree to such a scheme, he planned to murder Vaiga and then take his own life. However, after murdering Vaiga, he was unable to harm himself and therefore he fled.

“The prima facie finding is that the father killed his child. He was debt-ridden and felt that he could not carry on with life, therefore he planned to take his own himself. He claims that he did not want to leave his adolescent daughter alone, therefore he planned to kill her and then himself. However, after killing her, he was unable to kill himself,” Kochi Police Commissioner Nagarjau told the media on April 19.

The Commissioner said that Sanu left Kochi and then entered Tamil Nadu via the Walayar check post, and a CCTV visual had captured the same. In the last three weeks, he has been to Tamil Nadu, Goa and Karnataka. According to Sanu, he made several attempts to end his life.

However, the police have made it clear that they will not believe Sanu’s version without collecting corroborating evidence. Though Sanu has confessed that he strangled the child at the apartment, the post-mortem report said that her death was due to drowning. Police are now checking if Vaiga lost consciousness after her father strangled her and eventually died when he threw her into the Muttar river, which is around 9 km from their house.

Moreover, the post-mortem report found high alcohol content in Vaiga’s dead body, although, Sanu has insisted that he did not feed liquor to the child. This aspect will also be relooked into, including inspecting if the post-mortem report was wrong, police said.

The Commissioner acknowledged that Sanu has been changing his statement often. “Once he said he used a cloth to smother her, another time he said that he used his hands to strangle her. We cannot build the case with his statement, so we will be depending on scientific proof,” the Commissioner said.

However, police are also doubting Sanu’s claims that he tried to take his own life as he had planned his escape quite well. “He made sure that he left no digital footprint. He was selling gold and getting money. There are many contradictions,” the Commissioner said.

According to reports, Sanu had also tried to purchase SIM cards using a relative’s Aadhaar card, at least three months before the incident. This has led the police to believe that Sanu had planned his escape.

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