The Mangaluru Police has arrested a woman on charges of abetment to suicide on Saturday, after a married couple and their two children were found dead in their house at Morgan's Gate on December 8.
The deceased are Nagesh Sheriguppi (30), his wife Vijayalaxmi (26), and two children Sapna (8) and Samarth (4), all natives of Sunag village in Bilgi (Bagalkote district).
Noor Jahan, a former neighbour of Nagesh's family, and a marriage broker are now suspected to have attempted religious conversion of Vijayalaxmi and the two children, after learning that the couple had a strained relationship.
The police lodged a suo motu complaint based on Nagesh's voice message which he had sent to them before committing suicide. In the message, he had alleged that Noor Jahan's attempts to convert his wife and children and her bid to find a suitor for his wife were the reasons for their death.
Nagesh worked as a driver while Vijayalaxmi worked as a security guard and also a part-time domestic help at Noor Jahan's house. Both Noor Jahan and Vijayalaxmi were neighbours for 3-4 years before the former shifted out of the apartment, police said.
“In the last three months, the relationship between Nagesh and Vijayalaxmi was strained and they frequently quarreled. Vijayalaxmi left home in October and was staying with Noor Jahan, who asked her to divorce her husband and convert to Islam. She also assured Vijayalaxmi that she would find her a good match from her own community. This led to further tension between the couple," said Mangaluru Police Commissioner N. Shashi Kumar.
In October, Nagesh lodged a missing complaint against Vijayalaxmi who later turned up at the women’s police station and alleged that she had run away from home due to the torture by her “drunkard” husband. However, she had reconciled with Nagesh “for the sake of their children”.
The commissioner said, "Nagesh smothered his wife and killed their two children by strangulation, before hanging himself to death."
"We have recovered a photograph of Vijayalaxmi, perhaps used for matchmaking and some personal belongings. We have arrested Noor Jahan on charges of abetment to suicide," said Kumar.