It was a well-planned honeymoon murder, worked out to the last detail. But the mobile phone messages proved their undoing and helped nail a new bride and her lover in the crime.
The murder last Sunday of 30-year-old Anantharaman amid the idyllic locales of this tourist resort in Kerala's Idukki district had been scripted by his wife, 24-year-old Vidyalakshmi, and her lover, before the newly-weds set off on their honeymoon.
The couple, who are from Chennai, were married on June 7. Vidyalakshmi's lover, Anand, 24, and his accomplice Anburaj, 21, also hail from Chennai.
K.A. Muhammed Faizel, Munnar deputy superintendent of police, who led the investigations, said police would not have solved the murder so fast but for the crucial SMS messages that Vidyalakshmi sent her lover.
Narrating the sequence of the crime, Faizel said after the crime, Vidyalakshmi told police that two Malayali youths had attacked and killed her husband in a secluded place in the Kundala dam site in Munnar. "We then believed her," he said.
"However, an auto driver, Anbazhagan, came to us and said that two men had hired his auto to the dam site and returned after some time. He had overheard them talking something suspicious. When they were going to the dam site, the men had received SMS messages on Anbazhagan's mobile, which he had let them borrow as their own mobile had no connectivity in Munnar," said Faizel.
The SMS messages from Vidyalakshmi, asking them to come to the dam site, gave away the whole crime.
"We rushed to the lodge where the two men had been dropped by the auto driver and took them into custody," he said.
On questioning, the murder was solved without any loose ends.
Vidyalakshmi had made a stream of telephone calls to her lover preceding the crime, all of which came in handy and helped the accused admit to the murder.
The two men were following the couple during their entire honeymoon tour.
"She hails from a rich family, while her lover is from a poor family. She could not refuse the marriage with Anantharaman. But after the marriage, she hatched a plan to eliminate her husband along with Anand," said Faizel.
"Anand is the first accused, Anburaj the second, and Vidyalakshmi the third. All three have been remanded to 14 days judicial custody and are in Deviculam sub-jail," he added.