Koodathayi murders: Shaju was aware of Jolly's plan to kill his wife, Sily's brother tells police

Koodathayi murders
Sily, Shaju Sakharias and Jolly Joseph.

Kozhikode: The brother of one of the six persons died in the Koodathayi serial murder case alleged that his sister Sily was murdered with the knowledge of her husband Shaju Sakharias. Shaju is the current husband of Jolly Joseph, the prime suspect in the case.

Jolly, 47, who is in police custody now, had told the investigation team that more than one of the murders were committed with Shaju's knowledge. However, Shaju had refuted these claims at first. When the investigation team interrogated Shaju on October 7, media had reported that Shaju confessed to the police that he had assisted Jolly to kill his first wife Sily and two-year-old daughter Alphine. However, Shaju had denied this and added that he was summoned to give further details on the events.

Now, Sily's brother Sijo accused that Shaju was aware of Jolly's plans to kill Sily – who died in 2016 under mysterious circumstances. Manorama News reported on Saturday that Sijo made the revelations while giving his statement to the Vatakara Coastal SI who is probing his sister's death.

Jolly has been accused of murdering her in-laws Tom Jose and Annamma of Ponnamattom house at Koodathayi in Kozhikode district, first husband Roy, relatives Sily, Alphine and Mathew. Sily was the wife of Roy's cousin Shaju and Alphine was their two-year-old daughter. Mathew was Roy's uncle. After Sily's death, Shaju married Jolly in 2017.

The investigation into the suspicious deaths in Roy's family began after his US based younger brother approached police complaining that the post mortem report had revealed traces of cyanide. The remains of the other relatives were also exhumed for examination.

Koodathayi murders: Shaju was aware of Jolly's plan to kill his wife, Sily's brother tells police
Shaju and Jolly (L), Sily's brother Sijo (R).

According to sources, Jolly had confessed to her role in the deaths of five. She had denied any role in the death of toddler Alphine, daughter of Sily and Shaju, her present husband.

Jolly had earlier told the police that her present husband Shaju helped her murder his former wife Sily. Cyanide was added to her medicine. Sily was killed when she consumed the cyanide-laced medicine at Thamarassery Dental Clinic.

Alphine, two-year-old daughter of Shaju - son of Tom Thomas's brother - died in 2014. Alphine ate bread and meat curry for breakfast on the day of her brother's Holy Communion.

Sijo told the probe team that it was Jolly who informed him of phone that Sily had fainted. She had asked him to reach Thamassery immediately. When he reached dental clinic where Sily collapsed, Jolly wand Shaju showed indifference, Sijo said. he reportedly forced the duo to take Sily to a nearby hospital but she had died before reaching there.

Sijo added that he kept the doubts to himself not to tarnish the family's image. He also said that he had warned Shaju later as his relationship with Jolly triggered many a rumours.

Contrary to Shaju's earlier statements, Sijo had previously informed police that they did not insist him to marry Jolly. Sijo also told the probe team that no one from their family attended his second marriage.

Police said after Roy's death, Jolly wished to marry Shaju (who is the son of the Tom Thomas's brother). She was attracted by Shaju's calm demeanour and his profession as a teacher. Hence she killed Shaju's two-year-old daughter Alphine and wife Sily.

Eight years after the death of her husband Roy Thomas following consumption of cyanide-laced food, 47-year-old Jolly and two others were arrested on October 5 and investigation began into the deaths of five others in the family.

Koodathayi murders: Shaju was aware of Jolly's plan to kill his wife, Sily's brother tells police
Roy thomas and Jolly Joseph

Two other accused – M S Mathew, 44, a close friend of Jolly and Prajikumar, 48, had allegedly supplied cyanide to Mathew, who handed it over to Jolly.

Jolly was arrested only in the case relating to the death of her husband in 2011 due to the presence of cyanide mentioned in his post-mortem report.

The SIT is probing the case after receiving a complaint from Roy's US based brother, Rojo, over the six deaths between 2002-20.

Kerala Police chief Loknath Behra admitted on Saturday that the case is a very challenging one as there is a gap of 14 years between the first and the sixth alleged killing.

The police registered separate cases for each of the six murders. Initially, it was decided to probe the case of Roy Thomas' unnatural death that was registered at the Kodenchery police station in 2011. However, based on legal advice, it was decided to file FIRs for the other five cases.