Alappuzha: Alleged domestic violence forced the wife of a civil police officer to end her life after killing their two young children in their residential quarters here on Tuesday.
Police said the woman, Nejla (27) killed her children Tipu Sultan and Malala, aged 5 and 18 months, respectively, before hanging herself in their quarters near the AR Police camp.
Nejla's husband Reneez of Nawas Manzil, attached to the police outpost at the Medical College Hospital, was on duty when the incident happened.
Preliminary investigation revealed Nejla strangled Tipu with a shawl and drowned Malala in a water-filled bucket before hanging herself.
The incident came to light when Reneez's call home went unanswered in the morning. He alerted the neighbours, who found the quarters locked from inside. When they received no response from Nejla, the fire force was informed.
The fire force personnel led by station officer T B Venukuttan, forced open the door in Reneez's presence and found the mother and children dead.
Nejla and Reneez were married for eight years and had been living in the quarters for the past four years. Neighbours said the couple used to frequently quarrel with each other.
The woman's sister Nefla said Nejla had once approached the police with a complaint of domestic violence, and a compromise was reached in police presence.
District police chief G Jayadev said a case of unnatural death was registered. The bodies were shifted to the Medical College Hospital for post-mortem examination.
Nejla was the daughter of the late Shajahan and Laila of Nefla Manzil at Keralapuram in Kollam district.
Neighbours recalled the day when the family moved into the quarters. Nejla had then carried Tipu Sultan in her arms. Malala was born later.
"She was always seen with Malala on her arms and Tipu holding her free hand," the neighbours said of Nejla and her children.
"The children were naughty. They would pick up fights with Nejla, but she never reprimanded them. We never imagined that we would have to see them dead together," they added.
Recalling the incident, assistant fire force station officer Jayasimhan said the man who had called them said the door could not be opened. "We didn't expect such an incident," the officer said.
Once they forced open the door, Reneez picked up the girl child from the bucket. "She had died by the time the ambulance arrived," he added.
Quoting neighbours Nefla said Reneez had assaulted her sister on Monday also, a day before she took the extreme step. "They used to quarrel frequently. We told her to leave him and come home, but she refused. He threatened to hurt her mother and sister if she abandoned him," Nefla alleged.
She added that Reneez raised financial issues to pick up fights with her a few days after their marriage. "He had an extra-marital relationship which we came to know when Nejla was pregnant with their second baby," the bereaved sister said.
Nejla said the deceased woman was physically assaulted a few days after their second child was born. "A complaint was lodged, and later they reached a compromise. Reneez would not allow her to call us over the phone. If he is home, she won't attend our calls. A neighbour living in the next block told us that a woman had visited their quarters yesterday," Nejla said, adding that they would go ahead with legal proceedings against Reneez.