Kettering murders: British police heading to Kerala to quiz relatives of Anju, Saju

A policewoman stands outside the house in Kettering in Northamptonshire, England where Anju and kids were murdered. Photo: Screenshot from Twitter/@NorthantsPolice.

London: A two-member team from the British police will be arriving in Kerala soon as part of the investigation into the Kettering murders in which a nurse and her two young children were murdered by her husband last month.

The team comprises the police officer heading the probe and the chief investigation officer of the Northamptonshire police. Accommodation has already been arranged for them at a hotel in Tripunithura in Ernakulam district.

These police officers were earlier expected to accompany the bodies of the victims Anju Ashok (35) and her children Jeeva (six) and Jhanvi (four) to Kerala. However, they did not receive some clearances from the Home Office in the United Kingdom (UK). Once the Home Office gives the nod, the British police will travel to Kerala.

In the state, the British police would take statements from Anju’s parents at their house in Vaikom in Kottayam district. The officers are also expected to meet the relatives of Saju Chelevalan (52), Anju’s husband and the sole accused in the case, in Kannur district.

The final charge-sheet would be submitted before the trial court in the UK after including these statements.

The bodies of Anju and the two children were boarded on an Emirates aircraft from Manchester on Friday morning. Tickets had been booked on the same aircraft for the two police officers. However, the tickets were cancelled at the last minute as the final clearance from the Home Office was not received.

Bodies to arrive today
Meanwhile, the caskets carrying the three bodies would be reaching the Cochin Airport by Saturday morning after a six-hour transit at Dubai Airport. The mortal remains will be taken to Anju’s house in Vaikom by noon and kept for the public to pay homage. The funeral is planned on Saturday evening itself.

Manoj Mathew, a colleague of Anju in the UK, is accompanying the caskets as ‘next of kin.’

The procedures to send the mortal remains to Kerala took more than a month as the UK follows elaborate procedures in unnatural deaths. In fact, the police in that country take steps to ensure that the need for a re-investigation never arises. For which, bodies of murder victims are kept by the police for extended periods before being handed over to relatives. Moreover, Christmas and New Year holidays started after the gruesome incident, further delaying the procedures.


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