Mathew had died several years ago – 12 years, if she counted from the day he went missing. But Naisy, the eldest of his children, and the others in the family could be sure only three years ago when a vigilant Circle Inspector of police, AS Navas, recovered the body from beneath a building in Thalayolaparambu, Vaikom, a town in Kottayam, Kerala.
On Friday, Naisy and family did something that won them a lot of appreciation from the people of Thalayolaparambu. She gave back the five cents of land and house that once belonged to Vasu, father of Anish, the man that killed her father. Mathew, a money lender, had kept the property deeds as part of a financial deal between him and Anish, the man who went on to kill him. Anish is now serving his sentence in jail. The story appeared in Mathrubhumi.
“It was when the financial deal went wrong that the murder happened,” says AS Navas to TNM. “They were both friends before that. When Anish had some financial difficulties he pawned five cents of his land and house with the Kerala State Financial Enterprises and took a loan. Mathew also got involved in it and the deal between Anish and him went wrong. Anish had harboured anger for long and on one evening, invited Mathew to have beer with him. The next morning Mathew was reported missing. This was in 2008. However, the investigations had led nowhere and the case was written off by 2013-14.”
In 2016 when Navas was CI at the Vaikom police station, he got new information about the case and restarted the investigation. “Anish was then accused in a fake currency case and while questioning him about it, I also asked him about Mathew. He revealed the place the body was buried. There was a three-storey building on top of it and we used a JCB to unearth the floor. For three days, we found no body. On the fourth day, after getting more information and using Google maps, we found Mathew’s body. You can say my case started where the Drishyam case had ended!” says Navas, referring to the 2013 Mohanlal movie, about a family’s cleverly plotted alibi to cover a murder.
It was only after Mathew’s body was found, that his death could be established and his properties be used by the family. Mathew’s wife and three daughters had been in debt following his sudden disappearance. On getting rights to his properties, the family sold some of it to finish off their debts. Naisy got a job in Bengaluru and began looking after her mother and two younger siblings.
Naisy and Vasu
It was still a surprise that she decided to help out the family of the man who killed her father. But then Naisy reveals that it was Anish’s father Vasu who told her about the murder. He was the informer that helped CI Navas reprobe the case. “He had the good mind to tell me about my father’s death, even though his son was behind the murder. The family should not be punished for what Anish did. I came across their shelter which was in a very bad state. I felt sorry and decided to return their property documents. I spoke to our parish priest Reverend Varghese Cheraparambil and to Navas sir. Everyone encouraged me to proceed.”
The property deeds were handed over in the presence of the priests Varghese Cheraparambil and Jinto Padayattil. “If there are more people like Naisy, the world still has hope,” says Navas, who could not attend the gathering as planned.