Kajal Shah, 46, and Hitesh Jain, 45 (her lover) were arrested on Thursday for allegedly using slow poison to kill Kamalkant Shah, a businessman in the garment sector from Santacruz (West). Kajal and Hitesh allegedly tried to inherit Shah's assets.
Shah's post-mortem report led to the duo's arrest, and further investigation revealed that they had planned to poison him with thallium and arsenic through the use of food. On August 24, Shah started having stomach aches and throwing up. When the discomfort didn't go away after seeing his primary care doctor, he was taken to Criticare Hospital in Andheri.
Recently his mother passed away suddenly after having a similar stomach problem. Shah's condition worsened, therefore he was taken to Bombay Hospital.
Shah passed away on September 19 from organ failure, and the Azad Maidan police filed an accidental death report (ADR) based on his post-mortem findings.
The criminal branch took testimony, reviewed Shah's post-mortem report and doctors' opinion, and made a technical study of call detail records of Shah and his family.
Crime branch officers said on Monday that the accused, Kajal and Hitesh, have admitted to administering arsenic and thallium in food to Sarla Devi (65) over a period of time, leading to her death on August 13.
According to the police, the accused told them that it takes 40-50 days for the chemicals to show their effect.
Hitesh purchased arsenic from an online shopping portal but bought thallium from a pharmacist in Byculla. A police officer stated that the pharmacist's statement had been recorded and that he would probably testify in the case.
Kajal stated she administered a combination of both chemicals seven to eight times per day in the water, tender coconut, and ukala to her mother-in-law and afterward to her husband" (flavored milk).
Kajal and Hitesh first learned about the concept of slow poisoning in June while surfing the internet. They came across two posts about Delhi businessman Varun Arora feeding his mother-in-law and sister-in-law a thallium-laced fish dish. Arora allegedly told Delhi police that he was inspired by the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, who was notorious for employing chemicals as a slow poison to murder opponents.
The police have held both of them in detention until December 8, a policeman stated. "It is not necessary to register a new FIR in the murder of Sarla Devi because this will be viewed as a case of double murder, and we will shortly inform the court about the new development".
(Input from various media sources)