Massacre or collective suicide? The plot thickens...

While the enquiry seemed practically over - Crithika being the instigator of the St Paul massacre - new developments are putting every conclusion into question again. The police have arrested two persons, who could have links with the case.

One would have thought that most of the mystery of the St Paul collective suicide has been cleared up but light still remains to be shed upon some gloomy aspects of this sad affair. The police have arrested two people, a policeman and a homeless man, who could be linked with it. Moreover, some victims are said to have taken loans – around Rs 700 000 – just some time before and the police want to know where the money has gone. They say they are about to get serious evidence on the money.

Bhupendra Auckraj, policeman, and Jeetendra Janghee, alias Carol, were arrested in a bungalow in Flic-en-Flac last Friday. The investigators started to think that there could be a serious link between the St Paul massacre and land transactions involving notary Vinay Deelchand. Proxies signed by an individual by the name of Franck Marion and giving the right to Rajesh Dhayam, one of the victims, to research on lands in Médine, were found in the house at Béchard Lane. Investigation led the police to this bungalow where the policeman was putting up the homeless man. The latter was wanted by the police for fraud and theft.

The police have also started having doubts about Hervé Janvier’s death. This inhabitant of Quatre-Bornes was identified by his wife thanks to his clothes and jewelry. As his body was in an advanced state of decomposition, he could not be recognised. The police, who have been looking for him for two years, now believe that he could still be alive. His death could have been just a big set- up just to stop the police looking for him. The police thinks Hervé Janvier could also have been put up by Bhupendra Auckraj in this bungalow.

In view of all this new evidence, the suicide theory is not the only lead. Crithika Mawooa was said to be the instigator of this tragic event. Evidence pointed to the fact that Crithika and her lover, Rajesh Dhayam, were adepts of the Eckankar sect. Medals bearing the initials EK were found on both of them.

Jean Maunick, the founder of Eckankar in Mauritius, said that the sect has nothing to do with this massacre. Though he admitted that Rajesh Dhayam had been an adept until 1996, he maintains that he does not know the other people.

The autopsy has revealed that Crithika was the last one to die, as her body was less decayed than the nine other victims. A letter written by Maya Jhowry to Crithika was also found in the house. This letter shows that Maya was under the influence of her “guru” to whom she was totally devoted.

Some of Crithika’s relatives also told the press that she had weird religious beliefs. She was convinced she had divine powers and that her mission on earth was to help other people.

Much involved in religious rites

Was it sheer madness or a way of extorting money? What is certain in any case is that Crithika had financial problems. This is probably what led her to commit suicide. Did she convince everyone in the house that it was the best solution or did she act without their knowledge? The police have not found the answer yet. But she is said to have had much influence on other members of her family.

Crithika’s brother, Ravi, was also found dead in the house. His wife does not understand how he could have committed suicide. According to her, Ravi had plans for her and their newborn son. But she knows that Crithika has always had influence on her husband and her mother-in-law, whose body was also found at Béchard Lane.

Crithika’s former husband, Ashok Nundkoomar, descibed how his former wife had gradually changed during their marriage. He knew that Crithika was much involved in religious rites and he is adamant that she is the one to have written the 14-page suicide note. But he cannot understand why she chose to take their son with her.