The Thiruvallam police arrested Unnikrishnan, 24, of Pachalloor late Thursday on charge of drowning his 40-day-old daughter in a river near Thiruvallam.
Unnikrishnan was arrested shortly after the child’s mother had filed a complaint around 7 p.m. on Thursday. The baby’s body was retrieved by Fire and Rescue Services personnel around 2.30 a.m. on Friday. The accused allegedly drowned the baby in a plastic basket at Vallathinkadavu, near Pachalloor.
The incident occurred a few hours after the child’s ‘noolukettu’ (naming ceremony) at the house of her mother Chinchu at Nedumangad.
Thiruvallam Inspector V. Saji Kumar said Unnikrishnan, an electrician, used to live with Chinchu, a traffic warden, after the death of her husband with whom she has a seven-year-old child. However, the couple have been living separately after Chinchu filed a complaint of domestic abuse.
On Thursday, Unnikrishnan demanded that he be allowed to take their daughter to his mother in Pachalloor after the ‘noolukettu.’ Chinchu and the baby travelled in an autorickshaw, and Unnikrishnan rode his motorcycle. When they reached Karumam, he purportedly asked Chinchu to remain in the autorickshaw and took the baby, saying that he would take her to his mother. When he did not return, Chinchu sensed something amiss and filed a police complaint.
Unnikrishnan was spotted emerging from the riverbank by Rajan, a local resident, whose statement turned crucial in recovering the body. “Soon after he was taken into custody, Unnikrishnan attempted to mislead the police by giving false leads,” he said.
The officer said an eyewitness had seen Unnikrishnan in the same area on Wednesday, which could point at premeditated murder. The accused has been remanded in judicial custody.
The body has been kept in the mortuary of the Government Medical College Hospital here.