Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 03 March 2024 9.02 AM IST

One Google search that debunked all lies: How police arrested Shanif and Aswathy


KOCHI: In the brutal murder of a one-month-old toddler in Kochi’s Karukapally, the police arrested the victim’s mother Aswathy Omanakuttan(25) and her live-in partner V P Shanif (25). Both were taken into custody on Sunday afternoon. However, it was only after a detailed questioning session that the duo admitted to committing the inhumane crime. On Wednesday, both of them will be produced in the Aluva POCSO court.

According to the police, the boy born from Aswathy's first partner was a liability to both Shanif and Aswathy. After planning together, both of them left Alappuzha and booked a room in KK residency in Kochi’s Karukapally.

At around 4 am on Sunday, with Aswathy's tacit consent, Shanif put the sleeping baby on his lap and killed him by hitting the baby’s head on his knee. The baby's body was bitten twice and the death was confirmed. In a staged attempt, the duo took the baby to Ernakulam General Hospital saying the toddler experienced breathing difficulty while being breastfed.

On examination, the child was found to be dead, but the newborn was kept in the ICU for half an hour. Even after being informed of the death, the couple remained stoic without any grief reaching their face. The doctor who examined the child expressed doubt after seeing a dark blue spot on the toddler's chest with bruises and cuts also found on his forehead and other places.

The superintendent and the police were informed. The police shifted the couple to North Station. An FIR has also been registered for unnatural death. In the post-mortem conducted at Kalamassery Medical College the next day, it was clear that the cause of death was a head injury and a fractured rib.

At Elamakkara station, under the leadership of Central Assistant Police Commissioner Jayakumar, both of them were interrogated alternately, but they stood firm in their statement that they saw the child unconscious. Shanif's phone and CCTV footage of the lodge were seized by the police. The couple were rigid in their stance but the decisive moment happened during a phone search conducted. On the day before the incident at 4 am, Shanif was found using the phone googling symptoms of child fainting.

There was no sign of concern in the behaviour of the two who went to the hospital with the unconscious child. When questions were raised in this respect, Shanif stumbled and the lies started unfolding as he revealed the incidents one by one. Later, Aswathy also confessed to the crime. The couple thought that the newborn would die of pneumonia. Shanif had already informed Aswathy about his plans to kill the toddler before coming to Ernakulam.

Shanif who worked in a juice parlour in Bangalore, returned to Alappuzha to live with Aswathy. It was Shanif who took Aswathy to the hospital during her pregnant days.

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