“I’m happy with the verdict. He deserved to be punished,” says 42-year-old Mathew Chacko, after an Additional District and Sessions Court in Pathanamthitta ordered the death sentence for his brother, Thomas Chacko, on Friday.
It’s been more than five years since the murders. Mathew and his wife, Bindu, still haven’t gotten over the incident that happened on October 27, 2013. That Sunday, Thomas had walked into the house where Bindu and her two kids were living, and stabbed her two children to death in front of her eyes.
Thomas Chacko, who was 42 years old during the murders, was known to have a strained relationships with his father over property disputes. According to his younger brother Mathew, Thomas used to work as foreman in Kuwait after which he did a few odd jobs in Mumbai. In 2012, he settled in Ranni in Pathanamthitta, with his wife and daughter.
Initially, the two brothers and their familes used to live together with their parents at their home in Keekozhur in Ranni, but Thomas and his wife later moved out of the house after his wife had issues with his parents.
Thomas Chacko (blue shirt). Credits: Manorama News.
“The house that they were living in was in Thomas’ name but was bought with their father's money,” says public prosecutor S Manoj.
At that time, Thomas, who had spent all his savings in Kuwait and Mumbai, had taken money from Mathew and his father to buy an autorickshaw, with which he used to earn his livelihood.
According to Manoj, Thomas still felt that his father favoured his younger brother and used to pick up regular fights with him.
Meanwhile, the younger brother Mathew was working in Dubai as a valve mechanic, leaving his wife and 2 children, Melbin and Mebin, at his parents' house in Ranni.
On the morning of October 27, 2013, when Mathew’s father had gone to church, Thomas came to their house holding a plastic cover in one hand and a bottle in another.
Mathew’s eldest son, Melbin was standing outside the house at this moment. On seeing Thomas walking to the house, Bindu walked out of the house to meet him.
“At this moment, Thomas took out a knife from his plastic cover and stabbed the neck of my son, who was standing there,” Mathew recalls, and pauses for a while. When Bindu came running, Thomas, who was also carrying chilli powder with him, threw it on her face and ran into the house where the youngest son, who was 3-years-old was sitting on a chair.
“My wife ran after him. But before she could do anything, he stabbed my son who was still sitting on the chair,” Mathew says, narrating the gory incident that took place that day.
Following this, Thomas put the bedroom, where Bindu and her kids usually sleep, on fire and later attempted to commit suicide by drinking poison inside the house itself. Neighbours and the police managed to rescue him after he was taken to the hospital immediately.
By the time the children were rushed to the hospital, they had died.
The public prosecutor says that the court had pointed out that this was a “rarest of the rare” case, because of which, they ordered the capital punishment for the accused. “The court observed that the two children he murdered were innocent and that they were not part of the dispute between him and his family. The court also pointed out that his intention of killing the children were to make the parents of the 2 children suffer till their death.”
Mathew isn’t so sure. “We don’t know why he did it. I wanted to ask him this yesterday but couldn’t bring myself to do so,” an emotional Mathew says.
”I refuse to believe that he did it because of property disputes. People say that he went to the house to kill our father. But he very well knows that father goes to the church every Sunday,” Mathew says, getting agitated.
"But he got the punishment he deserved. My wife and I will pray that such an incident not happen to anyone else,” he adds.