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    SIT probing deaths of 6 family members to question more people

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    Thiruvananthapuram/Kozhikode: The Special Investigation Team probing the mysterious deaths of six members of a family would be expanded to question more number of people, Kerala police chief Loknath Behra said on Tuesday.

    The team needs more hands as fresh details were coming out each day with the questioning of more people, he said.

    He told reporters in the state capital that Rural Superintendent of Police K G Simon, who heads the SIT, would continue to head the team.

    He dismissed some media reports that Jolly, the main accused, had exhibited suicidal tendencies and said she had been hospitalised after complaining of uneasiness.

    "We came to know that she has been hospitalised due to some uneasiness. I enquired whether she had exhibited any suicidal tendencies, but learnt that there was nothing of the sort," Behra said.

    Meanwhile, a police department release said they would approach a Court for permission to conduct a 'Trace Analysis' on the exhumed bodies at the best laboratory in the country.

    "If that is not possible, we will seek permission to approach the best labs abroad. We cannot say whether there are more suspects in the case," the release said.

    Eight years after the death of her husband Roy Thomas following consumption of cyanide-laced food, 47-year-old Jolly and two others were arrested on October 5 and investigation started into the deaths of five others of the family.

    The two other accused--M S Mathew (44), is a close friend of Jolly and Prajikumar, (48) had allegedly supplied cyanide to Mathew who handed it over to Jolly.

    Jolly was arrested only in the case relating to the death of her husband in 2011 due to the presence of cyanide mentioned in his post-mortem report.

    The SIT is probing the case after receiving a complaint from Roy's US based brother, Rojo, over the six deaths between 2002-20.

    Police sources said they have also decided to issue a notice to Rojo to appear before them for questioning as and when necessary.

    While Annamma Thomas had died in 2002, her husband  Tom Thomas passed away six years later in 2008.

    Later, their son Roy Thomas died in 2011.

    Annamma's brother Mathew died in 2014 and two relatives - Sili and her one-year-old daughter- in 2016.

    Jolly later married their relative Shaju, who was the husband of Sili and father of the one-year-old daughter who had died in 2016.

    As police found that the deaths to be suspicious, the remains of the six deceased was exhumed on October 4.

    On October 7, police had questioned Shaju for a whole day and his statement recorded and later let off.

    Meanwhile a CPI(M) release said a local party leader K Manoj was expelled from the party on Tuesday as he reportedly had certain financial dealings with Jolly.

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