Murder in Mylapore – The Hindu

The double homicide of an aged couple who had simply arrived from the US by somebody who had labored for them for years has shocked town. It has additionally raised issues of security for senior residents staying alone within the metropolis

The double homicide of an aged couple who had simply arrived from the US by somebody who had labored for them for years has shocked town. It has additionally raised issues of security for senior residents staying alone within the metropolis

An eerie silence envelops the dupleix home, ‘Mahalakshmi’, at 19, Dwaraka Colony in Mylapore on Saturday morning, so eerie that it belies the quite tumultuous occasions that this home stood witness to just lately. Solely final week did the home witness betrayal, assault and homicide, unexpectedly, in a thriller plot that rivalled Arvind Adiga’s award-winning novel The White Tiger. The grotesque double homicide of Mylapore made the headlines within the metropolis, and whereas the speedy cracking of the case was spectacular, the case threw up issues of the aged residing alone within the metropolis.

Anatomy of a homicide

The couple who misplaced their lives tragically had been R. Srikanth, 58, a chartered accountant and president, company finance, of the Gujarat-based Infibeam Avenues Ltd, and his spouse Anuradha, 53, an engineering graduate and home-maker. Whereas this unusual story of betrayal has its beginnings from a earlier era, the present sequence of occasions may be stated to start final November. It was then that the couple flew to California, U.S., to go to their daughter, Sunanda, 28, a postdoctoral analysis fellow and their son Sashwath, 25, a medical scholar. They continued to remain within the U.S. to help within the supply of their daughter, and their bungalow in Chennai remained locked.

After six months within the U.S., they returned to Chennai on Might 7, Saturday. It was 3.40 a.m. after they landed on the Chennai airport. As quickly as they landed, the couple despatched a selfie by way of WhatsApp to their son informing him of arrival on the airport. Srikanth additionally informed his son that he was ready for customs clearance, and their part-time driver Padam Lal Krishna, or Krishna, was ready outdoors with the automobile. That was the final the world heard from the couple, the police stated.

One hour later, Sashwath known as his dad and mom up on their cellphones, however there was no response. He then known as Krishna about 8.30 a.m. and requested him why his dad and mom weren’t answering his calls, the latter claimed that the couple had been sleeping and he had come out to have breakfast. He promised to inform Srikanth to name Sashwath when he went again residence. Once more when he was known as at 9.15 a.m., Krishna replied that he had come out to purchase greens. Sashwath known as once more at 10.15 a.m. and he responded that he had been requested to go to their farmhouse on ECR. Later, Krishna’s cell phone was additionally switched off. Sensing a rat, Sunanda tried to examine the CCTV feed of the home on-line, however discovered it offline, and he or she was additionally apprehensive that her dad and mom’ mobiles had been nonetheless turned off, this was uncommon for them. Not prepared to attend any longer, at 10.45 a.m., Sunanda made a world name to the emergency quantity 112 and the decision landed on the police management room. 

On receiving the alert from the management room, a cell patrolling workforce reached the spot and knocked on the door and reported again that there was no response from inside. In the meantime, Mylapore inspector M. Ravi and P. Ramesh from Zamin Pallavaram, who’s a relative, additionally reached the spot. They broke open the primary door and entered the home. 

After a search, it grew to become clear that the couple weren’t inside the home. The motive force Krishna and their silver-coloured automobile (Innova) had been lacking. One suitcase was discovered within the corridor and two boarding passes on the eating desk. The police stated the kitchen appeared to have been cleaned with a disinfectant, and one other suitcase was open on the primary flooring. Sashwath stated his dad and mom had carried 5 suitcases in all, and three of them had been lacking. He requested his relations to examine the locker which reportedly contained gold ornaments, money and different valuables. The locker was empty they usually couldn’t discover something contained in the locker, the FIR stated. The police stated that at this level, suspicion fell on Krishna. Krishna was a Nepalese nationwide who had been working for them on and off for a decade and staying at their farmhouse at Soolerikadu close to Nemilichery. His father had been within the make use of of the household too.

Extra Commissioner (South) N. Kannan says, “We discovered issues had been disturbed in the home and cabinets had been open. Our inspector knowledgeable us that the utility space gave the impression to be washed off and faint blood stains had been seen. Initially, we suspected that it was a kidnapping and the couple may be harmed. We thought they could have been kidnapped and left tied up within the farmhouse.” 

Groups fan out

Instantly, particular groups had been fashioned to hint the suspect and the couple they usually fanned out to a number of locations, together with the farmhouse and toll plazas in surrounding areas of town.

The workforce which went to the farmhouse reported again that there was nobody there. However they discovered the stays of a burnt cell phone and a burnt material mendacity close to what appeared like freshly dug soil. The police then began to suspect homicide.

Chennai Metropolis Police Commissioner Shankar Jiwal stated, “Our investigation began round midday with six particular groups. Of them, one scrutinised CCTV footage and one other appeared name element data. We additionally checked whether or not the automobile utilized by the accused had a FASTag. We instantly alerted all toll gates within the State and the Andhra Pradesh police to maintain a look ahead to Krishna. We alerted two routes as much as Vijayawada and Vishakapatinam and tied with Andhra Pradesh’s Extra Director-Normal of Police Ravi Shankar Ayyanar. He alerted all Superintendents of Police within the State.”

Mr. Jiwal continues, “We noticed some messages from FASTag that confirmed that the automobile was transferring on a freeway in Andhra Pradesh. Our groups rushed there. The Ongole police laid a entice at one among their toll plazas. They stopped the automobile and in underneath six hours we discovered the driving force and the automobile, at round 5.40 p.m.” 

Mr. Kannan says, “We nabbed the accused in a report time in Ongole, which is 300 kilometres away from town, and introduced the accused to town. With him, was his affiliate Ravi Rai. Over 1,000 sovereigns and silver articles, looted from Srikanth’s home, had been additionally introduced again.” 

Each Krishna and Ravi Rai, a local of Darjeeling, on being apprehended by the police, confessed to have plotted and murdered Srikanth and Anuradha. They led the police to the farmhouse and the pits they’d dug to bury the our bodies. The our bodies had been exhumed.

A again story

Additional investigation disclosed a horror story, one which started quite sedately practically twenty years in the past.

Krishna’s father Padam Lal Sharma had misplaced his job in an amusement park 20 years in the past, and Srikanth stepped in and gave Sharma’s household shelter on the farmhouse. Sharma and his 4 sons, Krishna amongst them, had labored as gardener and safety guard of the farmhouse since then. Krishna additionally served as a component time-driver with an IIT professor, the police stated, however stepped up each time Srikanth required him for duties. From 2019, Krishna was appointed to take care of Srikanth’s aged dad and mom residing at Dwaraka Colony.

As Krishna recounted the sequence of occasions to the police, the threads of a chilly story of pre-meditated homicide for achieve unravelled.

On the day of incidence, after bringing Srikanth and Anuradha again residence from the airport, Krishna on the sly opened the suitcase to examine for valuables he might steal. Disenchanted with that, Krishna and Ravi hit Srikanth on the top with the picket deal with of a shovel and stabbed him on the neck with a knife. This was on the bottom flooring. They then went over to the primary flooring the place Anuradha fell to an identical assault.

Then, they washed off the blood that had splattered on the ground of the utility space on the bottom flooring and the primary flooring utilizing disinfectant. They took a bunch of keys from Srikanth’s physique and opened the locker. They looted the jewelry and silver articles that had been stored within the locker and likewise used mattress sheets to cowl the our bodies.

Then got here the second a part of the plot. They moved the our bodies into the automobile, and likewise the loot. By daybreak, they had been on the way in which to the farmhouse on the ECR. There, they claimed they’d positioned the our bodies in a sitting place in a pit dug a few days in the past.

They then coated the pit with soil and positioned boulders on prime in order to maintain away stray canines from disturbing the realm. Then they drove the automobile away, hoping to make it to Nepal, and security, stated the police.

A senior officer stated that in interrogation, Krishna stated he wished cash and he had learnt that Srikanth had accomplished an actual property deal just lately that made him richer by ₹40 crore. “My son is learning in Darjeeling and I wanted the cash for his training. I’m 40 years outdated already, and must work my whole life as a driver. I assumed I ought to quiet down as soon as for all,” Krishna informed the police.

The police later stated Krishna was in a position to loot 1,000 sovereigns of gold and 60 kg of silver articles from the Mylapore bungalow. The accused believed that in the event that they escaped to Nepal, they might by no means be caught.  

Apprehensions amongst seniors

The homicide has created a way of apprehension amongst elders residing within the metropolis all by themselves.

Pennathur Subramaniam Prabakar, a long-time resident of Mylapore and correspondent of P.S. Senior Secondary Faculty, says, “It has additionally made us query the premise of our assist system — individuals who assist us. Additionally, the lesson is that we must be cautious whereas discussing monetary issues when assist employees are round. We have to retailer our valuables and jewelry in financial institution lockers, particularly after we are away from residence for lengthy intervals.” 

Maintaining to themselves, particularly in upscale areas or buildings, will not be an incredible factor, says Edwin Babu, joint director programmes, Helpage, as this makes them extra weak. “There are native residents associations, or senior residents boards that they are often a part of in order that the members examine on one another periodically. Kids who stay overseas and have aged dad and mom residing by themselves in rural or city areas also needs to make it a degree to have interaction with their neighbours in addition to relations in the identical metropolis every now and then — there must be a dependable, secure community round them,” he provides.

“Earlier, the policeman who used to go to our condominium, would signal a ebook — the senior residents police level ebook — which might stay with the condominium. This ritual has been given a go-by for causes greatest recognized to the authorities, and it could be useful whether it is introduced again,” says V.S. Jayaraman, of the T.Nagar Residents Welfare Affiliation.

Mr. Jiwal explains the services obtainable, “We’re already working helplines for the aged that cater to 10 to 12 folks per day, on a mean. Now we’re planning to accentuate your complete train with the introduction of WhatsApp numbers for 3 classes of individuals — aged {couples} staying alone, single aged individuals staying alone and aged of us staying with their kids. This are numbers they will message if they need any help from the police like common go to or volunteers from NGO for even small points or medical help. They’ll register with us and we’ll assist out relying on the necessity. One other service we’re offering now, however isn’t used a lot, is verification of antecedents of assist employees. This 12 months it’s free, however from subsequent 12 months, it will likely be executed on cost of a price.”

Helplines:

Senior citizen helpline: 14567

Elders helpline: 1253 

Nationwide emergency quantity: 112 

Police management quantity: 100 

(With inputs from S. Poorvaja)

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