Cops bust mystery behind woman's death; four held

When four youths did a woman to death, little did they know that they were carried away by the showy life of the victim.

Among the valuables the woman possessed, many were gimcrack. All they could get was 40 grams of gold and a measly amount from the almirah. Now, they are cooling their heels behind bars in the Central Prisons Mysore.

The accused Manju alias Manjunath, aged 22 years, Kumbarkoppal; Shivaraju alias Shivu, 28, Lakshmikanth Nagar; Shivamurthy alias Shivu, 27, Somwarpet, Kodagu; and M S Bharath alias Sanju, 27, Hebbal, had strangled Lakshmamma (80) of Kumbarkoppal on May 23. They were arrested by a police team — led by DySP (South) Dr Amati Vikram — consisting of Inspectors Gopalkrishna and D Ashok.

Disclosing this to media, here, on Sunday, Superintendent of Police Abhinav Khare said, on May 27, a dead body was recovered in a highly decomposed state, from Shetty Lake (Mandakalli Lake) on the Mysore-Nanjangud road. It was later identified as that of Lakshmamma.

Manju and his friends, the co-accused in the case, had borrowed heavily from private parties. When they found it difficult to repay the amount, they planned to take the crime route. So, Manju, a close relative of the victim, planned the crime, presuming that Lakshmamma had huge assets.

Lakshmamma was leading a lonely life, after her husband’s death. While her son Srinivas, a KSRTC conductor, was living separately in the neighbourhood, Lakshmamma was depending on the rent from four houses in the same building.

As per the plan, Manju introduced Shivaraju and Shivamurthy to Lakshmamma on the pretext of renting a house. Unsuspecting Lakshmamma gave her consent, and the duo shifted to the house, four days prior to the murder, after paying a measly Rs 500 as advance. On that fateful day, the four went to Lakshmamma’s house on the pretext of watching an IPL cricket match during night hours. Unaware of the fate to befall on her, Lakshmamma went to sleep in her room, after asking the youths to inform her before going out. Lakshmamma was in deep sleep, when the four strangled her with a plastic wire.

Khare said, the four went out to booze soon after committing the murder and returned only to dispose the body. They transported the body to the lake, in the cab belonging to Shivaraju. Before dumping the body, they tied a huge stone to the body to avoid it from floating. After four days, on May 27, the body was found floating by a passerby.
Meanwhile, the victim’s family members, including her son, searched for her in vain for a week, and approached Metagalli police to lodge a complaint. Then, Metagalli police told Lakshmamma’s kin about a body having similar features found in the lake in South police limits. It was with the kin’s help, the police succeeded in tracing the identity of the body, that led them to the murderers.

Monthly ceremony
Manju, being a close relative of the victim, was regularly attending the monthly death related ceremony of Lakshmamma. Once, the investigators had picked him up on suspicion, but let him off when they could not find anything against him. Only when he was quizzed for the second time, he confessed to the murder.

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