A 37-year-old resident of Greater Kailash, who was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly poisoning his wife and her family members with thallium, a toxic chemical, bought the substance online from a pharmaceutical firm in Haryana’s Panchkula on the pretext that his father-in-law needed it for research on homeopathic medicines, said police officers involved in the investigation.
The accused, Varun Arora, a realtor, got the consignment delivered to his relative’s house in Gurugram.
The police said Arora hoped that since thallium is a slow poison, the murders would be passed off as being caused by food poisoning.
Investigators said that it did not appear that the relative who received the consignment knew what it contained, and added that they are looking to ascertain the identity of the person who helped Arora get the thallium from the pharmaceutical firm.
“We are, however, yet to verify it with the pharmaceutical company if it sold the thallium to Arora after due verification or not. Any possible negligence is being looked into,” said a senior police officer who asked not to be named.
Interrogators said that Arora also bought the fish, which he cooked for them, online.
They also said that the suspect ensured that neither he nor his twin children ate the fish that he had laced and served his wife and in-laws on January 31 this year.
The police arrested Arora for lacing his in-laws’ dinner with thallium on January 31, killing his mother-in-law and sister-in-law, and leaving his wife comatose. The man’s father-in-law and the domestic help recovered after treatment.
Police earlier said that Arora claimed to have planned the poisoning after his wife aborted her pregnancy last year, and to exact revenge for “being humiliated”, because his construction business was not doing well. However, this alleged motive has now come into question.
Police officers told HT that they are analysing Arora’s social media accounts to probe if the murders were a result of an extramarital affair.
Arora is also learnt to have told investigators that he had believed his father would be reincarnated with his child, but was allegedly upset on learning that his wife had aborted the pregnancy.
Arora told police that since thallium is tasteless and odourless, he mixed it with water and poured it over the fish. “He gave his four-year-old twins milk to drink right before dinner, so that the family members did not serve them the fish. He did not eat the fish himself, citing religious reasons,” the officer said.
Meanwhile, Arora’s wife’s family members have told the police that they suspect Arora may have been involved in an extramarital relationship.
A member of his wife’s family, who did not wish to be identified, said, “Arora’s father passed away about two years ago, and his lifestyle changed overnight. We have now learnt that Varun ill-treated his wife and that they had serious fights on a few occasions. He is misleading police by claiming that he was depressed or under financial stress. The family suspects he was in an affair outside the marriage.”