Facebook friend of 3 weeks murdered IBM staffer: Police

Facebook friend of 3 weeks murdered IBM staffer: Police

Kusuma Rani, the 31-year-old IBM staffer who was found strangled in her flat in Kadugodi, southeast Bengaluru, on Tuesday night, was murdered by her Facebook friend whom she got to know just three weeks ago, the police said. Financial dispute is suspected to be the primary motive.

The  murder was discovered by the victim’s roommate Nidhi Sharma when she returned from office around 7 pm. Police found enough clues to go after the suspect, Sukhbir Singh, 28, a native of Ribar village in Haryana. He earlier worked at a reputed software firm in Bengaluru.

Security guards at Rani’s apartment complex, Mahaveer Kings Place, told the police that a man aged about 30 had come asking for her on Tuesday noon. When they called her, she came downstairs and took him to her fourth-floor flat.

Rani, who hailed from Punjab, was divorced and was looking to remarry. Singh befriended her on Facebook on December 31, 2015.  Then on January 9, 2016, the two exchanged their contact numbers. On January 17, Singh called up Rani, saying he was coming down to Bengaluru.

He flew from New Delhi to Bengaluru early on Tuesday morning, checked into a hotel in Majestic area and then left for Rani’s place. Once in her flat, he asked her to lend him Rs 50,000, saying he was jobless. When she refused, he asked her for air fare so that he can go back. Rani told him she didn’t have that much money.

The argument soon snowballed into a fight. Singh pinned her to the ground, sat on her chest and kept punching her in the face. He then strangled her with a laptop battery cord.
As Rani started to spit up blood, he pierced a pen into her eyebrow. Once she was dead, he stole her three debit and credit cards, a chequebook and mobile phone and sneaked out.

He called Rani’s bank from her phone and introduced himself as her husband and asked for her debit card PIN. He gave the bank her chequebook and passbook details and got the PIN. He withdrew Rs 11,000 from an ATM on Marathahalli ring road on Tuesday.

The same day, he flew to Mumbai and thence to New Delhi where he withdrew Rs 34,000 from an ATM on Wednesday.

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