A spurned lover’s Whatsapp forwards to a newlywed couple prompted them to commit suicide in Srinivasapura village in Sadarahalli in Ramanagaram on Monday.
Enraged neighbours and villagers then vandalised and set the lover’s house and vehicles on fire. Akkur police had to seek extra reinforcement from the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) force to restore law and order.
The couple has been identified as Lokesh (30) and Kausalya (25), residents of Srinivasapura. Lokesh was a farmer while Kausalya was a homemaker.
The couple got married only six months ago, the police said.
Police said Kausalya was in a relationship with Thyagesh (35); also a resident of Srinivasapura, but Kausalya’s parents rejected Thyagesh and got her married to Lokesh. But Thyagesh kept stalking Kausalya.
On Tuesday, Thyagesh forwarded some pictures to Lokesh in which he was seen intimate with Kausalya. He sent the same pictures to his friends, informing them that he had sent them to Lokesh.
Police suspect that Lokesh and Kausalya hanged themselves at home, unable to bear the shame. The couple ended their lives at about 3 pm.
On hearing that Thyagesh’s WhatsApp forwards caused the couple’s suicide, Srinivasapura residents surrounded his house and set two cars and three bikes on fire, while also attempting to set ablaze his house.
Though Thyagesh was not at home during the attack, his parents were present. His father was injured when angry villagers threw stones at his house.
“The entire village had gathered around Thyagesh’s house and there was a law and order issue,” said a senior police official.
“We asked for reinforcement and soon after it arrived, the crowd was dispersed and law and order restored,” the official added.
Akkur police registered a case of unnatural deaths over the couple’s suicide. They will book Thyagesh for abetment to suicide. A separate case of mob violence and rioting has also been registered against villagers who took law into their own hands.