Cyanide traces were found in victim's body

Mohan Kumar allegedly persuaded the women to take anti-pregnancy pills

Kumar, who is being linked by the police to as many as 19 murders committed within a span of five years, brought two women from Dakshina Kannada district to Bangalore in 2005 and 2009, before persuading them to consume ‘anti-pregnancy pills’ which were actually capsules containing cyanide.

The body of one of the victims, identified as Shashikala, was found in the ladies restroom at the Kempegowda KSRTC bus station on October 22, 2005, by the Upparpet police. A UDR (unnatural death report) case (No. 84/2005) was filed at the police station and the body duly sent for autopsy at Victoria Hospital.

Shashikala was found missing from her Konaje home in Dakshina Kannada on October 21, but her relatives filed a missing person’s report with the local police four days later. Since, the Upparpet police had no means to find out her antecedents, Shashikala’s body was described as ‘unclaimed’ and buried.

Chemical analysis

The post-mortem of the body and the chemical analysis of stomach and its contents, portion of small intestine and its contents, portion of liver and kidney, blood showed ‘presence of cyanide ions’. The Forensics Science Laboratory’s opinion was that death occurred due to respiratory failure.

Police said the post-mortem could not detect whether sexual intercourse had taken place because Shashikala might have taken a shower before she and Kumar left for the KSRTC bus station where he allegedly persuaded her to take the capsule.

The second body, found in the ladies restroom of Kempegowda bus station some time in June-end this year, was of Pushpalatha, alias Sujatha (25) who hailed from Bantwal.
Her body too was sent to Victoria Hospital for autopsy which suspected death due to consumption of poison. Pushpalatha’s body was kept in the mortuary for a week. The unclaimed body was buried on July 15 or 16 this year.

Police sources in Bangalore said that even though Kumar has confessed to having asked the women to consume pills, which they thought was being given to prevent pregnancy, a competent defence lawyer might take the view that the women took the pills voluntarily, though without their knowledge that the capsules contained cyanide. A key question, a police officer said, would be - was Shashikala’s death a case of suicide or homicide?

Case may turn weak

“This could make the prosecution case weak. To strengthen the case, the prosecution will have to produce witnesses, like hotel or lodge managers, who would be able to identify Kumar and the women. But even that will be difficult since the managers might have taken up jobs elsewhere,” a police officer said.

Police sources believe that Kumar is likely to be brought to Bangalore some time next week to identify the hotels/lodges where he took up rooms with Shashikala and Pushpalatha. “An attempt will be made to recreate the crime scene,” sources said.

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