Jolly murders: Husband Shaju and family distance themselves, police widen net

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Jolly murders: Husband Shaju and family distance themselves, police widen net

In the sensational Jolly murders that have shaken the state of Kerala, Jolly’s current husband, has been questioned multiple times by the police regarding the six murders. 

Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Shaju stated that he had ‘some doubts’ about Jolly because she would constantly be on the phone. “She was the one who initiated the idea of our marriage. She called me to her house and told me that the relatives of Cily (Shaju’s former wife) had suggested that both of them get married. I got married for my children," he said. Shaju has a 10-year-old son from his marriage with Cily.

Shaju’s wife Jolly Amma Joseph has been accused of killing six of her family members between 2002 and 2016 by feeding them cyanide. According to the police, Jolly confessed that she murdered each of the six people for different reasons. Read about her alleged motives here.

Here are the current updates in the case:

The Kerala police on Tuesday added that they will be expanding the Special Investigation Team that is looking into the sensational case. The police added that while till now, they have been probing Jolly’s former husband Roy’s death, they will register cases in the other deaths as well. 

Speaking to the media, Kerala DGP Loknath Behera has said that the forensics in the case will be sent abroad to the ‘best laboratory’ for examination if need be. The police have said that they will seek the court’s permission for ‘trace analysis’ in the country’s best laboratory and if needed will be sent abroad. Trace analysis is a test conducted to detect or study trace evidence, which is very small amounts of substances that can be transferred when two objects touch or when small particles are disbursed by an action or movement.

As the probe into the case continues, police stated that Rojo Thomas, Jolly’s former brother-in-law, will be summoned from the US for questioning as well. Rojo is the one who filed the police complaint seeking a probe into the death of his family members. 

Former sub-inspector in the case Ramanunni has also been summoned. Ramanunni was sub-inspector at Kodenchery when Roy Thomas, Jolly’s former husband, had died. His post mortem report had reportedly shown traces of cyanide but was not investigated.

Also read: 'Can't drink tea made by wife': Jolly murders turn into opportunity for anti-women jokes

K Manoj, the local committee member of CPI(M) Kozhikode, who was questioned by the police over his connections with Jolly, has been removed from the party. Fearing backlash over the murders, the Kozhikode unit of the CPI(M) stated that the leader has been removed for bringing disrepute to the party. He has been accused of helping Jolly prepare a fake will of her father-in-law's for money.

Though Shaju has given multiple interviews distancing himself from Jolly and claiming that she initiated their wedding, Xavier, a relative of Shaju’s former wife Cily, has alleged that Shaju is lying to protect himself. 

“We were all opposed to Jolly and Shaju’s wedding. After Alphine’s death, a post mortem was not conducted on her on the insistence of Shaju’s family,” Xavier told the media.  

Shaju’s father Zacharias, who had earlier spoken out in Jolly's support and maintained that she could not have committed any of these alleged murders, has now called Jolly a ‘demon’. He outlined what happened on the day his grandchild, two-year-old Alphine, died, allegedly fed cyanide by Jolly. 

“At the Holy Communion of my other grandchild, Alphine was being fed a piece of bread. My own daughter was feeding her and the child fell sick after consuming the bread. They rushed her to a local PHC, then to an Omassery hospital and then to MIMS in Calicut,” he told the media. The child was put on ventilator for one day before she passed away. 

Probe into the murders also revealed that Jolly managed to mask her actual occupation for years. While she had claimed to be a teacher National Institute of Technology, Calicut (NITC), the institution says Jolly was never employed with them and that she used a forged ID card to access the campus. 

The police is also investigating whether Jolly had tried to murder others and whether more members in the family was aware of this.

Also read: Jolly murders: Postmortem rules helped alleged Kerala serial killer get away for 17 yrs