Man obsessed with Kannada films held for wife's murder

'Psycho killer obsessed with Kannada films' held for wife's murder

He suspected that she was having an affair with his cousin and brother-in-law, and wanted to kill them, too

Kantharaju B R. Credit: DH Photo

A 38-year-old man arrested for murdering his wife in West Bengaluru on September 22 is a suspected psychopath killer, police say. He wanted to kill her in cinematic style during a trip to coastal Karnataka but changed his mind due to the presence of relatives there. 

Kantharaju B R, a real-estate broker, was arrested on September 24, two days after he allegedly murdered his 32-year-old wife Roopa H G at their home in Health Layout near Annapoorneshwari Nagar. He suspected that she was having an affair with his cousin and brother-in-law, and wanted to kill them, too. 

In 2006, Kantharaju, his father and younger brother were jailed for murdering three neighbours — Sharadamma, her daughter Pushpalatha and son-in-law R J Ravishankar — in a dispute over a two-foot land. Kantharaju was the main accused in the case but a court acquitted him three years later. 

Police believe that Kantharaju was especially savage while killing his wife: he hit her on the head with an iron pipe, then stabbed her in the neck with a screwdriver before slitting her throat with a knife. 

On September 18, the family went on a trip to coastal Karnataka. Among the places they visited was the temple town of Dharmasthala. At the temple, Kantharaju confronted Roopa about the alleged affair but she swore before the deity that it was a lie. She also swore that God would punish her if she had an affair with anyone. But Kantharaju didn’t believe her and swore to kill her during the trip itself. 

Kantharaju wanted to carry out the murder in cinematic style. He was particularly fascinated by two Kannada film scenes. In one film, the hero kills his wife by pushing her from a cliff. The other film scene shows the heroine killing her husband in a road accident by running him over with a car. 

But he couldn’t follow any of these styles during the trip due to the presence of relatives. 

The family returned to Bengaluru on September 21, and the couple had a fight. Roopa’s parents counselled them but Kantharaju was unmoved. After Roopa’s parents left, he locked her in a room and killed her before escaping, leaving his parents and seven-year-old son behind. 

'Fulfilled vow, shaved head'

Kantharaju then went to Hassan by a KSRTC bus, disposed of the three murder weapons and took another bus to Dharmasthala. He got his head shaved, in fulfilment of the vow, and returned to Bengaluru on the night of September 23. The next day, he went to Mysuru but returned after a few hours. Police caught him when he went to meet a friend in Mahalakshmi Layout to collect money.  

Police had learnt that Kantharaju had planned to murder the two relatives he thought had an affair with his wife. They shifted the men to a secret location. But police say there’s no guarantee that Kantharaju would spare them once he got bail. 

Kantharaju had married Roopa, a native of Kunigal, Tumakuru district, in March, 2011. She worked as a teacher at a private school but quit the job a few years ago. The couple often fought over petty issues but things went really bad after Kantharaju began doubting her fidelity. That was a point of no return. 

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