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Updated December 29th, 2023 at 18:27 IST

Vaiga Murder Case: Father sentenced to life for killing daughter

The Ernakulam special POCSO court on Wednesday sentenced Sanumohan, the father of 13-year-old Vaiga to rigorous life imprisonment on charges of killing her.

Aswin Nandakumar
The Ernakulam POCSO court hands life imprisonment to Sanumohan for daughter Vaiga's murder
The Ernakulam POCSO court hands life imprisonment to Sanumohan for daughter Vaiga's murder | Image:Republic

 

Kochi:  The Ernakulam special POCSO court on Wednesday handed down rigorous life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1.7 lakh to Sanumohan, convicted in the brutal murder of his 13-year-old daughter Vaiga in 2021. The judge found him guilty of IPC sections 302, 201, 328, and Juvenile Justice Act sections 75 and 76, totaling 28 years of imprisonment.

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Sanumohan admitted to force-feeding alcohol and attempting to suffocate Vaiga before disposing of her body in the river. The case, initially thought to be a joint drowning, took a turn when the police recovered Vaiga's body but couldn't locate Sanumohan's corpse. The sole accused, Sanumohan had openly admitted in the court that he killed his 13-year-old daughter Vaiga during the trial proceedings. 

THE CASE

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The case had caused much heartache in Kerala society as the initial version was that the father took his daughter and the father-and-daughter-duo had drowned in the river. While the police were able to fish out the body of the teenage daughter, the search for two days didn't yield any result to find the corpse of the father.  

Acting on a missing complaint filed by Vaiga's mother Ramya had stated that her husband Sanu Mohan and 13-year-old daughter Vaiga were missing, following which the man hunt was launched. In her plaint, she had mentioned that Sanumohan had taken Vaiga along with him from his wife's house in Alappuzha to his relative's house. The police, on March 22, recovered Vaiga's body from the Muttar river but the body of the father and the accused wasn't traced. 

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The case took an interesting turn when after a few days the police secured evidence of Sanumohan's car being spotted on Kerala and Tamil Nadu border.  Acted on the tip-off and based on the evidences gathered, the police team learnt that the father was on the run. The probe revealed that Sanumohan, after the crime, checked into a movie and embarked on a multi-state tour, creating a manhunt. He was eventually apprehended in Karwar, Karnataka, a month later. An intensive probe, misleading confessions ensued, and a six-day evidence collection effort spanned multiple states, led the accused confessing the crime. 

The police took him to hotels in Coimbatore, Salem, Bengaluru, Goa, Mumbai, Karwar and Muradeshwar. The employees of the hotels were able to identify him. The gold ornaments that he allegedly sold while in Coimbatore were also recovered. The police submitted the charge sheet on July 19, 2021, 82nd day after Sanu Mohan was arrested. It was said in the charge sheet that he killed his daughter thinking that she would be a liability. Sanumohan tried to escape by killing his daughter Vaiga. He calculated that after killing the child, he could live as someone else in another place. 

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Sanumohan's 1200 page charge sheet detailed a calculated crime, with financial fraud allegations surfacing, leading to collaboration with Maharashtra Police.The investigation culminated in a 1200-page case diary and a 236-page charge sheet, supported by 97 witnesses, leading to Sanumohan's conviction for murdering Vaiga and perpetrating fraud

After the crime, the accused splurged Nine lakhs

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The police also found that Sanumohan who travelled in five different states had reached Karwar with a decision to kill himself. He was apprehended before it. Before reaching Karwar, as per police sources, Sanumohan pawned jewellery belonging to Vaiga and splurged close to Nine lakhs travelling around in five states.

FINANCIAL FRAUD CASE IN MAHARASHTRA

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The accused, facing massive financial liabilities, reportedly pawned Vaiga's jewelry, splurging close to nine lakhs during his travels. The Maharashtra financial fraud case revealed additional complexities in Sanumohan's criminal history. The Kochi team worked with Maharashtra Police in the investigation into the ₹3-crore cheating case that the Economic Offences Wing of the Maharashtra Police registered against Sanumohan.


 

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Published December 27th, 2023 at 16:28 IST

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