Chintamani prasada case a conspiracy: cops

Last Updated 29 January 2019, 20:12 IST

In a twist to the Chintamani Gangamma temple prasada poisoning case which claimed two women’s lives, the police now suspect it is a case of murder and not stale food, as it was initially assumed.

The police have arrested three women from Chintamani — Lakshmamma and Amaravathi, both residents of Salipet, and Parvathamma of Chennakeshavapur. The trio has been booked for murder.

Bengaluru district police suspect the prasada was laced with poison by Lakshmamma to settle scores with a family over an old rivalry stemming from an affair. The Chintamani town police also detained a man identified as Lokesh from Bhadravathi. Lokesh is said to have had an affair with Lakshmamma, who wanted to poison his wife Gowri.

However, she ended up poisoning Kavitha (28) and Saraswathamma (56). Lokesh was detained based on the statement made his wife by Gowri, who is also the daughter of Saraswathamma.

“Lakshmamma is a goldsmith’s wife, while Amaravathi is her domestic help,” B Dayananda, IGP (Central Range) said on Tuesday.

He added, “Parvathamma is a flower vendor. Lakshmamma laced the kesari bath with poison, while Amaravathi served it. Parvathamma helped Amaravathi identify the victim. The probe has established that the tragedy is not accidental, but intentional. A particular chemical used by goldsmiths was added to the sweet. A dispute between two families led to the incident.”

The samples of prasada and the patients’ blood have been sent to the FSL and the report is pending, a senior police officer said. Lokesh was a tenant of Lakshmamma. Gowri, Lokesh’s wife, told the police that Lakshmamma had a relationship with Lokesh. Gowri and her family used to quarrel over this and Lakshmamma planned to eliminate them.

But somehow, other devotees consumed the prasada, leaving two dead and others in the hospital. Lakshmamma had tried to kill Gowri earlier too. In November, clad in hijab, she visited Gowri’s house and had offered her poisoned prasada. Gowri and her family fell ill after eating it. In December, she offered sweet boondi laced with poison to Gowri, who fell ill and was hospitalised.

“Lakshmamma prepared kesari bath mixed with the chemical. She poured poisonous bath in two cups meant for Gowri and her mother Saraswathamma,” the IGP said.

(Published 29 January 2019, 19:19 IST)

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