The police in Nayarambalam in Kerala have arrested the neighbour of a 42-year-old woman and her 17-year-old son who died after sustaining severe burn injuries in the wee hours of Sunday, December 5. Sindhu and her son Athul had succumbed to burn injuries in the fire at their home, and a day later, on Monday, their neighbour Dileep was arrested by police. The woman Sindhu's relatives had earlier alleged that while she was being taken to the hospital for treatment for burns, she had named Dileep as the reason for her death.
Sindhu and Athul were found injured in the room that caught fire around 6 am on Sunday, and were rushed to hospital by neighbours and relatives who had seen smoke coming out of the room. Njarackal Police told TNM that the death of the mother and son is a case of suspected suicide, and the police have arrested neighbour Dileep for abetment of suicide. Days before her death, on Wednesday, December 1, Sindhu had filed a complaint with the police alleging that Dileep had been harassing and stalking her.
Sindhu’s relatives have alleged that if the police had not delayed taking action against Dileep, the tragedy would not have happened. Moreover, a phone conversation between Dileep and Sindhu’s son Athul has also surfaced, in which the former was heard threatening the minor boy. Relatives have alleged that Dileep used to threaten both mother and son continuously, and that is what led to their suicide.
Sindhu’s relatives told the media that after filing a complaint, the police did not conduct a primary enquiry. "She and her son lived in that house. If the police had taken action immediately, it wouldn't have happened. It was a flaw on part of the police," Viju, Sindhu's brother, told the media.
The relatives have handed over a voice recording of Sindhu, from when she was being taken to the hospital, who named Dileep when she was asked who was responsible for her death. Sindhu died on the way to the hospital, while her 17-year-old son succumbed to injuries on Sunday evening while undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Kochi.
Sindhu worked in Lourdes Hospital in Ernakulam. Her husband Saju, from Kizhakkethettayil, died 15 years ago when Athul was two years old.