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Epilepsy death turns out to be crime of passion

Raghavendra N, a resident of Karenahalli, Doddaballapur, was originally thought to have died in an epileptic attack
Last Updated : 13 January 2022, 02:41 IST
Last Updated : 13 January 2022, 02:41 IST
Last Updated : 13 January 2022, 02:41 IST
Last Updated : 13 January 2022, 02:41 IST

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A death blamed on epilepsy has turned out to be a crime of passion.

Raghavendra N, a resident of Karenahalli, Doddaballapur, was originally thought to have died in an epileptic attack around 2.15 am on December 27, 2021.

No one doubted his wife, Shylaja, 30, when she said he suffered a head injury after suddenly collapsing during a seizure. The family went ahead and performed his last rites.

But the truth began to unravel two days later when Raghavendra’s father, Nanjundappa, asked his 10-year-old grandson to tell him what exactly happened that night. The boy said he saw a male friend of his mother’s in their house at that time.

Raghavendra’s brother, Chandrashekar, suspected something amiss and went to the handloom factory where the deceased worked. The factory is located very close to Raghavendra’s house.

CCTV footage of the factory showed a man entering the house around 10.45 pm on December 26. Convinced about the presence of a man in the house around the time of his brother’s death, Chandrashekar went to the police on December 31 and lodged a murder complaint against Shylaja.

Police detained Shylaja for questioning and she confessed. But what really took the police aback was the revelation that Shylaja’s mother, Lakshmidevamma, 50, was also involved in the murder. The main culprits were Shylaja and her lover, Hanumantha. He was the one the boy had seen that night.

Raghavendra and Shylaja got married 12 years ago. Besides the son, they also have a daughter.

Shylaja, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, worked at a garment factory where she met Hanumantha and grew closer to him. Raghavendra got wind of the affair and often fought with his wife about it.

Shylaja and Hanumantha decided to get rid of Raghavendra, and sought help from Lakshmidevamma, who didn’t exactly like her son-in-law.

What the boy saw

According to the boy, he was woken up from sleep by some noise in the middle of the night.

He saw his grandmother (Lakshmidevamma) pinning his father’s (Raghavendra) legs while his mother (Shylaja) sat on his back. Hanumantha did the main job of hitting Raghavendra with a rolling pin until he died.

When the frightened boy asked what they were doing to his father, Hanumantha beat him up and threatened to kill him if he spoke to anyone about it.

The boy’s testimony, together with Hanumantha’s mobile phone location and CCTV footage, helped unmask the truth.

Police arrested all three for murder and destroying evidence.

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Published 12 January 2022, 18:17 IST

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