One day after their nuptials on April 1, the newlywed groom was at his home with family in Chhattisgarh’s Kabirdham district, according to a report from The Indian Express.
The groom, identified as 25-year-old Hemendra Merawi, and his brother, 30-year-old Rajkumar, unwrapped a music system gifted to Hemendra and his wife at their wedding. After setting it up and turning it on, the device exploded, police told The Express.
Both Hemendra and Rajkumar were killed in the blast that police said was so violent, it blew off the roof of the house and damaged three walls.
Five other family members, including an 18-month-old child, were injured in the explosion.
Hemendra’s new bride, only identified as a 29-year-old woman, was at her parents home at the time of the incident, news media reported.
After questioning Hemendra’s wife and other family members, police narrowed in on an ex-lover of the bride as the prime suspect.
Sarju Markam, 33, who worked as an auto mechanic, was located and detained at his job on April 3.
Investigators found that Markam, who was already married with children, was upset after the bride rejected his desire for her to become his second wife, according to The Independent.
He became vengeful after she decided to marry Hemendra by way of an arranged marriage, police told The Express.
A day before the nuptials, Markam called the then bride-to-be and tried to convince her to not go through with it.
Markam then called Hemendra and threatened him.
"They had an altercation. Hemendra also had a talk with his fiancé and the issue was settled," Superintendent of Police Lal Umed Singh told The Express.
Following the phone calls, investigators say, Markam hatched his revenge plan.
Police said Markam had some experience in electronic repair work and had some knowledge of explosives after working at a stone-crushing unit which led him to create the wedding gift bomb.
Before quitting his job at the stone crushing unit around 2015, Markam stole 250 grams of ammonium nitrate which police suspect he used to create the explosive device that killed Hemendra and his brother.
In addition to the ammonium nitrate, Markam also utilized 1.5 kilograms of gunpowder he had taken from firecrackers, gasoline and several other materials to rig the music system, The Express reported.
Markam then had a friend take him to the wedding venue on March 31 where he placed the wrapped music system under several wedding gifts before departing.
Markam’s friend who gave him a ride had no knowledge of Markam’s plans, police told The Express.
Markam faces life imprisonment under India’s Explosive Substances Act, Vice reported.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.