Vadodara: Husband prime suspect in deaths of woman, daughter

A day after a 36-year-old woman and her six-year-old daughter from a residential colony on New Sama Road died under mysterious circumstances after they participated in garba festivities, the Vadodara city police on Tuesday collected forensic samples for probe in the case, with her husband as prime suspect.

Police said conclusive autopsy reports are awaited in what appears to be a prima facie case of poisoning. On Tuesday, police collected fingernail samples of Tejas, the prime suspect, for poisoning his wife and daughter, who died around 2 am on Monday, two hours after participating in garba at their residential colony.

According to Assistant Commissioner of Police, H Division, Bharat Rathod, Shobhana’s family said the couple was facing marital discord and Tejas was “unhappy” living in Shobhana’s maternal home after their estrangement from his family. Rathod told this newspaper, “Tejas is a prime suspect in the case because the two deceased were last seen in his company. We suspect that he poisoned them. We took Tejas for forensic tests, to gather samples from under his fingernails and to see injury marks during any possible struggle. The injury found on Shobhana’s neck has been ruled out as being connected to her death.”

Shobhana’s family has told the police that the couple had been fighting as Tejas was “irritable” most of the time. Rathod said, “The family told us that the couple had constant fights over their estrangement from his family. Shobhana did not get along with Tejas’s sister and mother. The aspect of him living in her maternal home could have also played a role… her family said that he was generally curt and aloof.”

Rathod added that the deceased woman’s brother, Shailendra, has told the police that Tejas was also involved in an extramarital affair a few years ago but the couple had decided to give their marriage another chance. “We are exploring all the possibilities and also questioning Tejas regarding his extramarital affair in the past… The autopsy report, which will arrive Wednesday, will reveal the cause of death, after which we will register an FIR,” he said.

Currently, a case of “accidental death” has been registered. Shobhana and her daughter were declared dead on arrival at a private hospital early on Monday, where they were rushed after Tejas allegedly found them “unconscious” at home. Shobhana’s brothers, who live on the lower floor, told the police that they had bid the family their usual good nights before going up to their house after the garba event.

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