Cheruthoni (Idukki): Police suspect murder over the recent death of a 66-year-old woman at her house at Narakakkanam here in Kerala's Idukki district.
The charred body of Chinnamma Antony (66) was found in her kitchen around 4.30 in the evening on Wednesday. Initial information was that the woman died in an accidental blast of the LPG cylinder.
After preliminary investigation police have come to the conclusion Chinnamma might have been murdered and then her body burnt in the kitchen. A robbery angle too has not been ruled out.
Police suspect that she was wrapped in a blanket, heaped with clothes and set ablaze after opening the LPG cylinder valve after the murder.
However, the exact cause can be confirmed only after getting the postmortem report, the police said.
Chinnamma and one of her granddaughters were alone at home on Wednesday morning. Her another granddaughter had left for school to collect her certificates. The incident came to light when the girl returned home.
The murder was likely committed in the afternoon. Neighbours had found smoke rising from the house around 2 pm.
District Police Chief V U Kuriakose reached the spot and carried out an investigation.
The police team led by Kattappana Deputy Superintendent of Police Nishadmon is probing the case. Several people, including migrant labourers, are being interrogated.
Chinnamma’s body was buried the other day.
Why murder is suspected
The investigators suspect murder based on solid grounds. The gold jewellery worn by Chinnamma is missing and the gas cylinder was found lying near her body. Moreover, the LPG tube connecting the stove and the cylinder was found disconnected.
The fire was restricted to where her body was found. The stove, other kitchen appliances, roof or walls have not been damaged in the fire. The blanket on which the body was lying had not charred completely.
There were blood stains on the walls in the rooms. The almirah in the room was left open.
Relatives say Chinnamma usually wore around 7 sovereigns of gold jewellery.