A 22-year-old engineering student was arrested on Thursday for allegedly strangulating his mother to death and later burning her body in their house compound in Thiruvananthapuram.

The accused, Akshay Ashok, has confessed to the crime which occurred on Christmas Day, district police chief S Prakash said. 

Akshay suspected that his mother, Deepa Ashokan, was involved in an illicit relationship, the police official said. He was also upset that his mother had refused to give him money for his fees.

50-year-old Deepa, an LIC agent, was living in the house along with her son, while her husband was in Muscat and a daughter abroad. A DNA test had confirmed that the charred body was Deepa's. 

Akshay burnt the body using kerosene at the place where his mother used to dispose of garbage and later informed the police that his mother was missing since Tuesday.

(With PTI inputs)