ON SATURDAY evening, Sandeep Kadam (34) had come home with bhajiyas for his wife Archana (32) and two sons, as promised in the telephone conversation he had had with Archana barely 45 minutes ago. Around 6.30 pm, as he opened the door to his second-floor home in Jeevan Anand society in Kalwa, he saw his wife’s body hanging from the living room’s ceiling fan. He rushed to the bedroom to find his sons lying motionless, frothing at the mouth. A suicide note left behind by Archana, placed under her mobile phone, revealed that she had killed their twins, Sarthak and Varad, aged 7, before hanging herself. Prima facie, the police believe Archana was frustrated at the condition of the twins, both mentally challenged.
Bharat Raut, a neighbour of the Kadams, said Sunday: “The family had come to stay in our building a month-and-a-half ago. Earlier, Sandeep’s elder brother Ravi lived here.” Raut said the Kadams lived at the Shivaji Park home of Archana’s parents earlier. “Archana’s mother took care of the twins. Maybe the pressure of looking after the children alone after moving here got to her,” said Raut. He added that Archana’s mother, when she visited the house after the tragedy, kept saying she would have gladly looked after the twins had Archana asked for it.
Other neighbours said Archana lived with her parents in Dadar before her marriage to Sandeep, who was from Satara. Sandeep works as a manager with a private firm in Thane. While he would be away at work, Archana kept to herself, said the neighbours.
“Most evening, all of us gather on our floor and chat. She (Archana) never joined us. However, it could be because it had hardly been a month since they moved in. Hence, we do not know much about the couple,” said a woman who lives on the same floor, not wishing to be named. The neighbours added that Sarthak and Varad went to Holy Cross Convent Special school in Thane. Raut said the parents had also enrolled the two in a dance class.
Building watchman Krishna said the school bus came every morning and dropped them back by afternoon. “As soon as they returned, their mother would come down to take them home. But the kids never came down to play in the evenings.” He added: “The three would be at home all the time. They did not have a domestic help either.”
An officer from the Kalwa police station, where a case of murder has been registered against Archana, said, “Post-mortem reports have confirmed that the twins were given some poison that led to their death. There is no foul play suspected. In this case, the mother, who is the accused, is dead and hence we will file an abated chargesheet, as per the law governing cases where the accused is dead.”
The officer added: “In the suicide note, Archana has written, ‘You know what we have been going through for the past seven years and you can understand why I have done this. No one is to be held responsible for my death’.”