Serial killer's 19th victim had taken Rs 90,000 cash, gold for her love

Shashikala (26) was one of the many women from the region who became economically independent through the Self Help Groups movement but unfortunately she could not live with it.

While everyone in Kananthur village were wonderstruck by the ability of the primary school pass out to mobile funds their respect for her only increased. Things were wonderful till she fell into fatal love trap of Mohan Kumar (who introduced himself as Anand to her) and died a miserable death for what was love according to her.

Due to problems between her parents, Shashikala, her younger sister and mother came to live with her uncles, Chandrahas and Vishwanath Madiwal at Kananthur village in Bantwal taluk. She lost her father about 14 years ago and her mother passed away 12 years ago. Here Shashikala rolled beedies and worked as an Anganwadi helper to supplement the income of the family as her uncles are daily wage workers. Soon she came to the folds of Self Help Groups and there was no looking back.

While nobody knows how Shashikala had got acquainted to Mohan, talkative and friendly Shashikala never confided to anyone about her love affair with Anand, says the family.
She had said that she was going on a tour to Sringeri with her friends from the SHG on October 21, 2005. When Shashikala did not return, the family filed a missing case at Konaje Police Station on October 25, 2005. The police closed the file on November 21, 2006.

Police sources informed that Shashikala had borrowed gold from her neighbours saying that she wanted to wear it to the temple. The neighbours blindly gave her gold because of the belief and faith they had on her. When she left the house she had Rs 90,000 in cash (her savings in Karnataka Bank Mudipu branch) and had 9 sovereign of gold. She had also closed her LIC policy.

The family had searched for her for about 6 months despite financial crunch and later consoled themselves that she will never be back again. They hoped she must be alive somewhere and might return one day but four years later, the news of her death shattered their hopes too.

However, speaking to Deccan Herald one of the neighbours informed that a man called Anand used to frequently call the house with telephone connnection in the neighbourhood asking for Shashikala. After the Mohan Kumar incident came to light, the neighbours now say that they had seen her with a man couple of time in the village but since it is casual to speak to someone, they never linked the possibility of Shashikala having left the house for him.

“We are not economically sound to fight for her. She was like a boy in the family. It is our loss,” says Vishwanath Madiwal, a coolie worker whose damp eyes had once dreamt of marrying Shashikala off to a good family.

Similarity

Both Shashikala and Leelavathi, the lady who went missing from Chennethodi in Bantwal and was found dead in Bangalore have something in common. Both hailed from same taluk and Mohan Kumar had introduced himself as Anand to both of them. He trapped the ladies with a difference of one month.

Leelavathi (whose name was included in the naxalite list) had told her family members that some one named Anand would be coming home to seek her hand. On September 19, 2005, she left the house saying that she was going to Bantwal to pick him up but never returned.

Neighbours of Shashikala mention that she had told one of her close confidante that some one named Anand would be coming to meet her family and seek her hand and the very next day she too went missing on October 21, 2005. However Shashikala’s family have not commented on this.

Police informed that they never had any information about death of Shashikala as it occurred in Upparpete in Bangalore. They had communicated with the Upparpete police couple of days ago after the Mohan Kumar serial killing case was cracked.
Meanwhile, police is investigating into missing case of Devamma, a resident of Manjani village in Konaje. She went missing on November 19, 2006.

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