Shakhakumari murder: Kin allege Arun demanded Rs 50 lakh and 100 sovereigns as dowry

'Arun wanted to sell Shakha's property, demanded 10 sovereigns and 50 lakh as dowry'

Thiruvananthapuram: The relatives and friends of Shakhakumari, who was allegedly electrocuted by her husband Arun at their house in Thressiyapuram, Karakonam, have come out with more disclosures about the activities of the accused.

The death of the 51-year-old insurance company employee on Saturday had shocked the people in the area. Arun tried to make the death look like a case of accidental electrocution.

The relatives said Shakha had told her friend that she was suspicious about Arun's wayward dealings. The couple often fought with each over the matter.

The victim's relatives alleged that a month ago Arun had even made an attempt on Shakha's life by releasing live electric current into an electric stove.

Arun who is a resident of Pathamkallu and a staff of a private hospital, was taken into custody by police after Shakha's suspicious death. With relatives suspecting foul play, the police conducted a preliminary probe into the circumstances that led to the death and concluded that it was a planned murder.

The questioning of the accused is in progress and the police expect to get more details regarding the crime. Shakha was the daughter of the late Albert and Philomina.

Though the incident took place at 5 am on Saturday, Arun informed the neighbours only after an hour. When neighbours arrived at the house, they found Shakha lying dead on the floor. There was also blood on the floor. Besides, the electric wires for taking power supply directly from the meter board for lighting ornamental lights as part of Christmas decoration, were also found in the room.

Shakha's mother Philomina is bedridden. She became friendly with Arun when her mother was under treatment in a hospital. Subsequently both got married on October 19.

Despite relatives and friends' attempts to make Shakha back out of the marriage, the couple went ahead. Their marriage was registered at the local grama panchayat on December 10.

Arun's family had also opposed their marriage because of the age-gap. However, he left his house and was staying in a rented house.

The victim had also spoken to her friends about Arun's habit of using alcohol and drugs. Arun fought with Shakha recently when she posted their marriage pictures on social media. He became angry saying his friends would tease him for marrying a woman who is much older to him. The relatives allege that it was a planned murder with the objective of usurping her property.

Shakha owns 10 acres of land and a palatial house. The relatives said that of the Rs 20 lakh received from rubber plantation, she had given Rs 10 lakh to Arun. She even bought a car for him.

Prior to the marriage, Arun took Rs 5 lakh from Shakha. He had demanded Rs 50 lakh and 100 sovereigns of gold as dowry besides making an attempt to sell a portion of the land.

Meanwhile, Shakha's body has been kept in Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital where the autopsy is expected to take place on Sunday.

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