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Veena player held for double murder

Bangalore, April 18, 2013, DHNS: 1:18 IST
B M Chandrashekhar
Noted veena player B M Chandrashekhar was arrested here on Thursday for allegedly killing his wife Preethi, 38, and her cousin Veda, 37, over a domestic dispute.

Chandrashekar and Preethi were married for three years and had no children. For Chandrashekar, it was his third marriage as he had married Preethi after divorcing his earlier wives. And for Preethi, it was her second. Chandrashekar has a daughter from his first wife. His former wives and daughter stay separately outside Bangalore. Preethi had two daughters from her first marriage. They were staying with her at their Girinagar residence.

Preethi, a native of Mangalore, was a teacher at a pre-school in the same locality. Chandrashekar, a music graduate from Mysore University, gave performances and concerts. He would also conduct music classes at his residence. His third marriage too turned sour as the couple developed differences.

The police have cited two reasons that may have led to the murder. Chandrashekar, given to behaviourial problems, is said to have harassed Preethi mentally, besides physically assaulting her twice, following which she decided to annul their marriage. Upset over this, he is said to have murdered her.

The murder, according to the police, could have also been the result of a property dispute. Chandrashekar owned a three-storey BMC Apartment in Nanda Gokula on III Cross, Girinagar.

He had sold two floors recently and Preethi reportedly demanded transfer of his remaining property in her name. When he refused, she is said to have threatened to lodge false complaints and this could have led to her murder, police added.

Preethi’s mother Geetha Acharya, who came to visit her on Thursday around 6 am, said she was shocked to find Preethi and Veda lying in a pool of blood.

She alerted the police who launched a search for Chandrashekhar. Based on his cellphone call details, they picked him up from an under-construction building. The police who found Veda’s year-old son Manju at the scene of crime handed him over to Geetha.

DCP (South Division) H S Revanna told reporters that Chandrashekar, armed with an iron rod, sneaked into the bedroom and repeatedly attacked Preethi with it. “The police suspect that Veda might have protested and rushed to Preethi’s rescue. Chandrashekhar, in fit of rage, might have killed her, too,” the officer said. Postmortem was performed at KIMS.

Contradictory versions

However, contradicting the police theory on Chandrashekar, Narendra Sharma, a relative said: “He is a creative person and had been a part of major musical tours across Mauritius, Maldives, Singapore and India. He is not a violent person. But provocative actions of Preethi had destroyed the atmosphere of their house and that was also primarily responsible for Chandrashekar’s violent action.”

However, Malini, a neighbour, said: “The couple fought on various occasions. Twice last year, the police took Chandrashekar into custody for assaulting and harassing Preethi. On another occasion, the police had intervene after Preethi did not allow Chandrashekar to enter the house.”

According to the police, Chandrashekar was arrested once in December last year, but was released on bail. As far as Veda’s death was concerned, the police believe it was only unfortunate she was present in the house at the wrong time.

Another neighbour also recollected that just a week before the incident, the lane witnessed high drama as Preethi left for Mumbai along with her children and mother. “She might have come down with Veda to collect her belongings from the house.”

Preethi’s mother Geetha said: “Last night, my daughter called me saying living with her husband had become unbearable for her. I assured her that I would visit her home on my way from Mumbai and that we would leave for our native place in Mangalore for good. If I had done this earlier, her life would have been saved.”

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