New Delhi: A Delhi-based builder has been arrested for allegedly poisoning his wife and other family members by mixing a toxin called thallium in their food, police said on Thursday.

A senior police officer said the accused — Varun Arora — was inspired by articles related to the toxin and its use by former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and used it to kill his mother-in-law and his sister-in-law.

His wife, who was also poisoned, is on ventilator support at a hospital, police said.

Arora mixed the toxin in their food to take revenge from his wife and her family members for helping her abort their child without his consent, police said.

On Monday, police received information that a woman named Anita Devi Sharma who was a resident of Inder Puri here, had been declared dead at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

The doctors had opined that the death was caused due to poisoning by thallium which had been detected in her blood and urine, a senior police officer said.

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On enquiry, it was found that Sharma’s daughter Divya was also admitted in the ICU of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and she too was undergoing treatment for thallium poisoning. She was on ventilator support, the officer said.

Sometime later, it was also revealed that Priyanka, Sharma’s younger daughter had died during treatment at B L Kapoor Hospital on February 15 and doctors had detected symptoms of thallium poisoning in her like hair loss and burning feet syndrome, police said.

Sharma’s husband Devendra Mohan was also found to have symptoms of thallium poisoning while the maid, who was working at their house, also had undergone treatment at RML Hospital for similar symptoms, the officer said.

Investigations revealed that the deceased woman’s son-in-law Arora had visited them January and brought cooked fish for them.

“After we registered the case, Arora was interrogated in which he admitted to have procured thallium and also administering it to his mother-in-law Anita, wife Divya, father-in-law Devender Mohan and sister-in-law Priyanka to take revenge from them. Arora said he had been humiliated by his in-laws,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (west) Urvija Goel said.

Thallium was recovered from his house at Greater Kailash, the DCP said.

During interrogation, Arora told the police that during the time when his father died, his wife had also gotten pregnant, leading him to believe that his father had come back to his family in the form of the child, police said.

However, when his wife underwent some tests, the doctors told them that there may be some complications during child birth and her life may be in danger. She consulted Arora and also opined that she should abort the child, but Arora refused, police said.

Arora’s wife, however, discussed the matter with her parents and aborted the baby with their help . When Arora came know about it, he planned to take revenge from them, police added.

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