Parents held extreme religious beliefs killed both the daughters

V Padmaja, principal of Masterminds IIT Talent School in Madanapalli town of Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh, was brought in for a coronavirus test to the taluk hospital. But there she was arrested for murdering her two daughters.

She said, “Corona did not come from came from Shiva. I am Shiva and corona will be gone by March.”

According to the information, Padmaja and her husband Dr V Purushotham Naidu, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Vice-Principal at the Government Degree College in Madanapalli, were arrested for murdering two of their daughters, named Alekhya of 25 years and Sai Divya of 22 years. On January 24 both were killed with the help of dumbells at their home in Teachers’ Colony area.

On Tuesday, when Padmaja and Naidu were charged, about the events that led to his daughters’ being killed he said, “I have no comments." On the same day in the evening when both the couple were presented at the residence of a civil judge, both walked in calmly and were kept in judicial custody for 14 days.

The Madanapalli police were trying to dig out the information from the statement given by the couple and people known to them.

DSP of Madanapalli taluk, Ravi Manohar Achari said, “It seems like the whole family was involved in some extreme religious belief. The deaths are a result of this.”

Friends and other members of the family have informed that the only point of difference is whether the parents or their children were responsible for the alleged occult practices in the house.

A policeman who involved in the custody of the couple after their arrest said, “They were all in it together.”

Police were informed about the murders by a former teacher at the Masterminds school, whom Naidu had contacted after the murders.

When police reached the spot they found, Alekhya, an MBA graduate who was preparing for the civil services, with her head battered by a dumbbell, her hair burnt, and a piece of metal stuffed into her mouth. The younger child, Sai Divya, a student of dance at the A R Rahman music academy in Chennai, was found dead, stabbed with a trident and battered with a dumbbell.

A police official said, “The parents had no injuries on them but seemed to be in a trance, saying the girls will return.”

A worker at the Masterminds school said, “I have known the principal of the Masterminds school for over 25 years. I cannot believe she could have done this.”

A relative of Padmaja said, “They were reasonable people. They were rational about Covid and other things. They were spiritual people but nothing extreme."

A police official said, “It seems one of the girls told the parents that they can only get rid of evil by killing them (the daughters), but that they would not die,” a police official said on condition of anonymity. “We have to verify if anyone in the family received treatment for mental illness.”

According to the police report, at present police are treating this as a straight case of murder under Section 302 of the IPC.

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