Two children, aged 10 and four, were witness to their mother's horrific murder by their own father. They reportedly saw him slit their mother's throat with a kitchen knife and stab her multiple times before finally crushing her head with a gas cylinder.
The incident took place in the Indian capital New Delhi early on Monday (7 July). The accused, Parveen Taneja, 32, was reportedly outraged after his wife of 12 years, Meenakshi, refused to move in with him in a rented place.
The young boys told police that their father tortured their mother regularly, forcing her to move out of his house. She returned to her parents house in Badarpur area in southeast Delhi. The children also lived with the mother and the man, who was out of job, alternately stayed with them and his own parents. The man reportedly also accused the woman of having an illicit affair.
The elder child, who lodged the murder complaint, told police that his father continued to abuse his mother whenever the family members would be away from home.
On the day of the murder, the victim was alone in the house with the two children. The boy said in the complaint that his father came home around 11am local time (6.30am BST) and started arguing with his mother.
He suddenly picked up a kitchen knife and slit her throat. Both the children tried to stop their father by biting him on his arm, but he locked them in a room and continued to stab his wife.
The woman reportedly kept pleading to the children to save her life as the man kept stabbing her. Then finally, her wails stopped after the man crushed her head with a gas cylinder.
"I could hear my mother saying "beta bacha le mujhe (son, save me)". I also shouted out for help, but no one heard me," the child reportedly said in the complaint.
The man left the house after killing his wife. The woman's mother came minutes after the murder and found Meenakshi in a pool of blood. She alerted the neighbours and the other family members, who then approached police.
Taneja was already present at the police station when the victim's family arrived to file a complaint, the victim's brother said, adding that the accused threatened to kill them all, including the children, after he is released from jail.
"When we reached the police station, we found Parveen already present there. He threatened us that once he is released from jail he would kill us all one-by-one, including his children," he said.