Police step up vigil at robbed scientist’s house

Police patrol in front of the house of Ila Chandrasekhar. DH Photo by Janardhan B K

It was an unusual scene for people living around Mookambika Farmhouse in Deshbandhu Nagar in Doddabommasandra on Monday as a police patrol car kept moving about, stopping by an elderly woman’s house. Policemen were seen wishing her daughter and talking to her while signing on a diary kept at the gate. 

The diary is to register the number of times the beat patrol vehicle visited the locality and the house of Ila Chandrasekhar, an 85-year-old scientist and the wife of an internationally renowned physicist, the late Sivaramakrishnan Chandrasekhar. 

Sivaramakrishnan was known for his work on liquid crystals and was a student of Sir CV Raman and headed the Raman Research Institute for many years.

Ila, who lives with her specially abled 55-year-old son, was robbed by three men on Sunday morning, who made off with Rs 30,000, four bangles and antique jewellery.

Ila’s house is surrounded by greenery but does not have CCTV cameras or dogs. They have a servants’ quarters within their farmhouse. 

Among the three culprits, one of them appeared elderly while the other two were young. All spoke Kannada, Ila told police.

She also told police the culprits somehow knew details of her family as they inquired about her daughter and about a property the family had sold recently.

The men asked where she had kept that money.

They did all this after tying her hands and gagging her by threatening her at knifepoint with dire consequences if she raised an alarm. Ila, who became submissive by then, pleaded with them to spare her life and said they could take anything from her house.

Her son who was sleeping on the first floor did not hear any commotion and had no idea about what was happening, police said.

After the burglars left with the booty, Ila informed her family who lodged a complaint with the Vidyaranyapura police later.

“Honestly, police were very cooperative. They have taken up our case very seriously and we are completely satisfied with them,” Ila said in a feeble voice.

Her daughter Indira Chandrasekhar said: “My mother has still not come out of that shock and she won’t be able to talk much.”

A senior police officer said: “We have intensified beat patrolling in the area to reassure the victim and her neighbourhood and prevent such incidents in the future. We are working on a few clues about the culprits and will nab them soon.”

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