Four persons from Royapettah, including a couple, were arrested for allegedly murdering a woman from whom they had borrowed money. Though they reportedly repaid the loan, the woman allegedly demanded more, which apparently led to the murder.
The deceased, Alphonsa Mary (42) from the same locality, ran an idly shop near her house and also used to lend money on interest. Alphonsa went missing on Monday afternoon after she stepped out to buy fish. As she failed to return even after a day, her husband Irudhayanathan, who works in a printing press, lodged a complaint at the Ice House police station on Tuesday.
Even as they were searching for her, the police received information that a woman’s body tied in a gunny bag was found in an abandoned well in Madurantakam. It was recovered and kept at Chengalpattu Government Hospital for autopsy.
After Irudhayanathan confirmed that it was his wife’s body, the police altered the case into murder and launched a hunt for the suspects. After inquiry, police said that Valli and Mani, who live in a same apartment, had borrowed Rs 20,000 and Rs 60,000, respectively, from Alphonsa. It is suspected to be a case of usury as the deceased demanded more money from the accused even after they repaid the loan in instalments.
On Monday, Valli asked Alphonsa to come to her house to collect the remaining sum. When she went to the first floor of the house, Mani attacked her. As Devi and Valli held her hands and legs, Mani smothered her with a pillow and murdered her. Mani then called his friend Suresh for help to dispose her body and the latter borrowed an autorickshaw from a friend claiming that he wanted to visit a temple with his family.
“They tied Alphonsa’s body in a gunny bag and took it to Madurantakam and dumped it in a well,” said the police. Mani, who removed the jewels from the victim’s body, pledged them for Rs 1.2 lakh. The jewels were recovered and all four persons were remanded in judicial custody on Thursday.