Panaji: Watching crime shows on TV inspired a woman in Goa to drug, murder and rob her in-laws, as police Wednesday claimed to have cracked a sensational double-murder case which hogged the headlines for the last few days.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sunil Garg told reporters Wednesday that 32-year-old Pratima Naik had also play-acted like a professional, faking a burglary attempt, and even stabbing herself to create a smokescreen to confuse police, minutes after murdering her two in-laws Jan 30 in the port town of Vasco.
"She said it was inspired by the serials she was watching on TV. The entire (murder) plan was done in a masterly way," Garg said.
The double murder triggered social as well as political ripples in Goa, with the opposition lambasting the BJP-led government over the deteriorating law and order in the state.
Garg, however, stopped short of naming the TV crime shows.
The top police official said Pratima Naik, driven by greed for gold, and allegedly smarting under rough treatment by her in-laws, drugged her 56-year-old mother-in-law Usha Naik, and 26-year-old sister-in-law Neha Naik with sleeping pills, strangulated the former and smothered the latter with a pillow after they passed out.
"She then bundled gold ornaments worth Rs.10 lakh and threw it out to an accomplice waiting outside and concocted a very elaborate story," Garg said.
The accused woman smeared chilli powder on her face, and even stabbed herself and went to the neighbours to complain of a robbery.
"She also said she was hit on the head with a stick by a burglar after which she passed out, but we saw through her story," Garg said.
Spouses of both Pratima and Neha are employed abroad.
Pratima, who was in an intensive care unit for two days since the murders were reported, was arrested late Tuesday and sent to 14 days in police custody on Wednesday.
Garg said watching dramatised crime shows on television was alright as long as one picks the right values from it.
"Opt for the right thing when you watch these shows on TV," he said.
Initially, it was believed that Naik got her mother-in-law Usha and sister-in-law Neha murdered at the hands of hired killers on Sunday night and orchestrated a fake attack on herself to mislead the police.
However, Inspector General of Police Sunil Garg told reporters today that Naik confessed during interrogation that she plotted the killings by taking a cue from a television serial.
The IG said the killings were premeditated as the accused had drugged both the women before strangulating them.
Police have also recovered and seized the Rs 10 lakh worth gold, which Naik had allegedly kept with a relative after the incident.
The relative, identified as Abhijit Korgaonkar who had helped the accused in hiding gold has also been arrested, Garg said.