To his neighbours, he came across as a man keen on cleanliness, but it was with an unclean heart that a 45-year-old Rajasthani man began digging a new toilet in his home, where his wife’s lifeless body was unearthed over a month later. Tired of tending to his ailing wife, the man had buried her alive in a pit and fled to Kandivli, where he was arrested on Monday.
The Swachh Bharat programme provided the perfect cover-up plan for the accused — identified as Chandmal Jain, the owner of a grocery store in Majeragaon in Rajasmandh district. With so many people building toilets in his town and across the country, he thought no one would suspect him for doing so. Jain managed to escape suspicion long after he killed his wife in April. Not only did he bury her alive, but every night, he would spread a mat at the same spot and sleep there.
Sarita Jain and Chandmal Jain
According to the Kelwada police, Jain had married the deceased, Sarita, in October 2013 in a court marriage. Sarita had been ailing for a long time, and had become bedridden. About a year ago, Sarita had given birth, but the infant died within the fortnight. Tired of her poor health, Jain decided to kill his wife.
“In April, Jain hired some local labourers to construct a toilet in his home. The labourers left after finishing their day’s work, and Jain threw his wife into the pit and buried her alive,” said head constable Narendra Singh of Kelwada police station, adding, “On the next day, he told the labourers to stop coming as he had run out of cash.”
It was only when neighbours and relatives began to ask where his wife was that Jain began to feel the heat. Jain told people that she had gone to her parents’ house and even his own brother was under the impression that the couple had had a fight.
Jain finally registered a missing person’s complaint with the Kelwada police in Rajasthan on June 1. “He told us that Sarita had taken Rs 5,000 and left 15 days ago without informing him,” said Constable Singh.
But on Sunday, the cops dug up the decomposed remains of Jain’s wife in his house and asked the Samta Nagar police to nab the accused, who was hiding in his relatives’ house in Ashok Nagar, Kandivli. Jain has been booked for murder and destroying evidence in the case.