Nine days after a woman and her children were found dead in a pond at Bramhapuri Rural Municipality in Belahi of Sarlahi, police are yet to establish the cause of death, causing scepticism among the victim's kin regarding the police investigation.

The bodies of Ranjit Kapad's wife Bikesha Kapad along with her eight-day-old son and 18-month-old daughter were found in a pond in Belahi Bramhapuri Rural Municipality on July 27. After the bodies were found, police had completed the mandatory process and then handed over the bodies to Ranjit's family for final rites. The death of the woman was revealed to the victim's parents only days after the bodies were found.

"Not only were we ignorant about the death of our daughter and grandchildren, but we were also not informed when they cremated the bodies," lamented the deceased woman's mother Nagina Kapad, adding that they got to know about the incident five days later.

"As soon as we heard about the deaths, we reached our son-in-law's home, but as they hedged at our questions about the deaths, we reached the police station, but to no avail. We asked police to investigate the deaths at the police post, but they simply dismissed the incident as suicide and told me to go away without registering our case," bemoaned the mother, who suspected that her daughter and grandchildren were murdered.

The bereaved mother argued that the bodies would have been swollen if they had drowned in the pond.

"It was a murder orchestrated by her husband's family. Apparently, they killed her and my innocent grandchildren and dumped the bodies in the pond," she said. She demanded action against her son-in-law and his family. She further shared that her son-in-law was a drug addict and he abused his wife frequently.

"Just a day before the incident, she had called us and recounted the torture she was facing from her in-laws. We didn't know they would be so cruel as to take lives," she said. She also called on human rights activists to help them get justice.

SSP Santosh Singh Rathaud said police were investigating the incident. "We have got to hear that the incident is related to a domestic dispute. As investigation is under way, everything will be revealed once the inquiry is over," he said, adding that the FIR from the victim's side was not registered as it was filed against the entire family without specifying the main perpetrator.

A version of this article appears in the print on August 6 2021, of The Himalayan Times.