Thodupuzha: Younger brother of the seven-year-old Thodupuzha boy, who was brutally tortured and killed by his mother's live-in partner in March, will live with his paternal grandparents for a month. The decision was taken by Idukki District Child Welfare Committee.
After the death of his brother, the younger four-year-old boy was staying at his mother's home near Thodupuzha. However, parents of his late father Biju had sought the custody of the boy claiming that the child would not be safe with his mother.
Family members of the boy's parents participated in a meeting held by Child Welfare Committee president Joseph Augustine on Friday. Both parties agreed to the panel’s decision.
The child will be taken to his father’s house in Thiruvananthapuram. The police and welfare panel will monitor the child.
The Child Welfare Committee requested Thiruvananthapuram district police chief to ensure the child’s safety considering his mother’s friend Arun Anand’s criminal background. The mother is undergoing treatment for mental trauma. The court will record her confidential statement on Saturday.
The elder boy, a class 2 student at a school at Kumaramangalam near Thodupuzha in Kerala's Idukki district, was tortured and killed by his 'uncle-turned-step-father'. The boy had a 2-inch crack on his skull and over 20 injury marks on his body when he was brought to a hospital at Kolenchery in Kerala's Ernakulam district. The child died in nine days after being on the ventilator.
The child's harrowing tale began at 1.30 am on March 28, 2019 (Thursday). The mother and her live-in partner Arun Anand, who is also her late husband Biju's first cousin (Father's sister's son), locked their two sons from outside the bedroom and left for a late night dinner. According to the mother, who talked to a few vernacular dailies after the incident, Arun used to tell her that they should leave the boys alone at home so that they could grow up as brave boys.
She trusted him and left for dinner and returned around 3am. They found the kids sleeping and the couple also got into the bed. Arun realised that the four-year-old kid had wetted the bed. This infuriated him and he thrashed the elder boy for not taking the younger one to wash room before they went to bed.
Six-foot tall Arun kicked the kid in the stomach. The kid was thrown up in the air and banged his head against the wall. He was picked up and thrown again. This time the child's head hit the edge of a steel almirah. Arun then grabbed the kid's head and banged it against the cot.
The kid fell on the ground. Arun kicked several times and dragged him through other rooms also. This left blood stains everywhere.
Arun also beat the mother who tried to intervene. The 4-year-old was also beaten. The room was cleaned and the younger one was locked up again before taking the elder child to hospital. Around 3:50am, the mother and Arun took the kid to a hospital in Thodupuzha where the mother stated that the kid had fallen from the bed but the doctors referred him to the medical college at Kolenchery as he was in a critical condition.
The cops soon arrested Arun and he was also slapped with charges under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act for sexually abusing the younger kid apart from attempt to murder. With the death of the boy, the cops will now charge him with murder also.
The cops also talked to the younger child and he narrated the whole incident to police.
Arun and the mother of the boy were staying at the rented house at Kumaramangalam on the pretext of being a married couple. The family remained rather isolated as they did not maintain any close connections with their neighbours.
The boy's mother is a BTech graduate from Udumbannoor village in Idukki district and Arun is also a civil engineering degree holder from Nandankode in Thiruvananthapuram district. She is from a well-to-do family and her mother is a retired teacher. She is the only daughter.
According to relatives, she trusted every word of Arun because apparently he was the only person who supported her to recover the shock of her husband's death last year. She was married to Biju from Thiruvananthapuram. Biju had set up a workshop at Vengalloor near Thodupuzha after the marriage. They were blessed with two sons and Biju died following a heart attack in May, 2018. Biju's body was cremated at his native place in Thiruvananthapuram. The wife also went to Thiruvananthapuram for the funeral where she stayed for a few days with her in-laws. She met Arun, who is Biju's first cousin, there.
After Biju's death, Arun, who is a divorcee, became close to the woman. She finally decided to live with Arun, taking her kids along. Her mother was against this but she was adamant. The mother also approached the police but the woman told a court that she wanted to go with Arun. But they never married officially. The woman's mother did not allow Arun to stay in her house. So, the couple lived in Thiruvananthapuram for a while before moving to Kumaramangalam near Thodupuzha.
Arun was also first married to a model and he has a 10-year-old daughter from that marriage. They were divorced later. The daughter now lives with her mother.
Arun reopened the workshop owned by Biju and started managing things there. But the woman or Arun never visited her mother at Udumbannoor.
According to vernacular newspaper reports, Arun is known as 'Cobra' among the underworld gangs of Thiruvananthapuram. His parents were bank employees. A report said his father died while he was in service and Arun was offered a job in the 'dying in harness' quota. But he refused the offer and started developing contacts with the criminal gangs in Thiruvananthapuram. Soon, he was involved in drugs trade also. His elder brother is a defence personnel.
Arun is also a murder case accused. He has seven cases against him registered at four police stations in Kerala.