Australian police on hunt for Prabha's killer hit dead-end

Quiz victim's kin in Dakshina Kannada, B'luru but get no clues

Australian police on hunt for Prabha's killer hit dead-end

 Nearly two years after Prabha Arun Kumar, a software engineer from the city was stabbed to death in Sydney by an unidentified person, the special detective squad, Strike Force Marcoala (SFM) of New South Wales (NSW), Australia, has submitted a report to the local court terming the case unsolved.

“SFM sleuths had visited Bengaluru and Dakshina Kannada in the last week of January 2017. They questioned 28 persons, including Prabha’s family members and relatives and spoke to senior CID officers. They strongly suspected a  possible robbery attempt resulting in the death,” a senior CID officer told DH.

The report has references to negligence of the victim’s employer in providing transport facilities to her when she worked on a holiday on March 7, 2015, the fateful day. Other references made in the report include Prabha’s domestic and property issues. The report stresses that Prabha had ignored her colleague’s warnings of passing through the Sydney park, known for robberies and attacks. There is also a reference to possible involvement of people known to her, the officer said, quoting the sleuths.

The sleuths clarified in the report that they lacked evidence to prove any of the possible causes. They said the truth would be out once the assailant was arrested and efforts were on to trace him.

The sleuths told the CID that they have not given a clean chit to anybody, including Arun Kumar, and members of Prabha’s family and her relatives.

Arun Kumar told the sleuths on the CID premises in Bengaluru in the last week of January that he had no serious differences with his wife. He claimed that both of them loved each other and she wanted to return to Bengaluru for good after completing the project in April 2105.

She had dropped the idea of obtaining an Australian citizenship like her brother Dr Shankar Shetty, for the sake of their only daughter, he stated.

During discussions with CID officers, the contract killing theory came up. But the sleuths said they have no evidence to prove it.

On whether the couple wanted to legally separate, the officer termed it as a purely personal matter which had nothing to do with the incident.

A native of Nandagokula in Amtoor near Kalladka in Bantwal taluk and the daughter of Mahabala Shetty, Prabha did her engineering in computer science from KVJ Institute in Sullia, and moved to Bengaluru in 1998.

She was sent to Australia for a project for a year by her employer Mindtree in 2012. She married Arun Kumar, a private firm owner from Prashanthnagar in 2000. Prabha’s daughter was nine years old when the murder took place.

An unidentified man followed her and repeatedly slit her throat while she was passing through the Sydney park on March 7, 2015, about 300 metres away from her house minutes after she got down from a tram.

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