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US church shootout: 'The accused was possessive and suspicious'

Last updated on: November 26, 2008 13:03 IST

Two days have passed after a horrific shootout in a church in the United States that left three dead, but the victims' relatives are yet to come of the shocking turn of events. 

Sanish Joseph Pallipurath, 27, shot dead his estranged wife Reshma, 24, at the St Thomas Knanaya Church on Third Street in Clifton, Passaic County in New Jersey on Sunday. The on-the-run accused was arrested from Atlanta on Tuesday after a nationwide alert. The case -- where the accused drove more than 5000 kms to the murder spot -- has sent shockwaves across the US and back home in Kerala.    

Reports indicate marital discord was the primary reason behind the murder. Though the relatives back home had an inkling of their marital disputes, they never thought that Pallipurath would take such an extreme step. 

Reports in Malayalam newspapers quoted their relatives as saying that the murder was a fall-out of Pallipurath's intensive possessiveness about his wife.

'He was always on drugs' 

Other reports say that Reshma moved court in the US against Pallipurath, complaining of torture. The court even disallowed Pallipurath from meeting Reshma, emerging reports said. Some reports also said he was always on drugs.

"I do not know if the possessiveness came out of genuine love or a suspicious mind. He did not like her meeting people and preferred her staying indoors always," media reports said, quoting Reshma's maternal uncle.

It was a hell-like life

A report in Malayala Manorama said Reshma led a 'hell-like life" with Pallipurath soon after their wedding in Kerala. The 24-year-old nurse often underwent all sorts of torture at the hands of her 5-foot-8 husband, it is reported.

It was Pallipurath idea that he wanted to marry a nurse so that she could easily find a job in the US. It was through a matrimonial column in Apna Desh, a journal run by the Knanaya Church, brought them together, the Telegraph reported.   

Three months ago the couple was in Kerala  

It was just three months ago that the couple was in Kerala. Having learnt about the disputes, the relatives tried their best to save the marriage. Curiously, they flew back to the US separately.

Efforts are still underway to bring the body for burial at the parish church in Kaduthuruthy near Kottayam. The burial is expected on Saturday.

Rediff News Bureau