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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

Bengaluru: Woman kills 69-yr-old mother with rolling pin for throwing away food

69-year-old Shantakumari’s decomposed body was found stuffed inside the closet and buried in sand and charcoal. Grandson and his friend helped cover up murder

bengaluru Updated: May 21, 2017 15:55 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Shantakumari’s body was found stuffed inside a closet in a rented house.
Shantakumari’s body was found stuffed inside a closet in a rented house.(HT Photo)

Bengaluru Police have said the 69-year-old woman, whose decomposed body was found earlier this month stuffed inside a closet in a rented house, was killed by her daughter in August last year after she threw away a plate of food.

Police said 42-year-old Shashikala allegedly hit her mother Shantakumari on her head thrice with a rolling pin in a fit of anger.

Shantakumari’s body was discovered on May 7 after the landlord of the house went to check on his tenants as they had not been seen in a while and the rental agreement was coming to an end. He saw three large plastic drums and that the cupboard in one of the rooms had been sealed with cement and painted red .

The landlord immediately contacted the police, who found the decomposed body stuffed inside the closet and buried in sand and charcoal. The forensic analysis of Shantakumari’s body has revealed she bled to death and was killed long before the body was discovered.

“We were immediately suspicious about Shashikala and her son Sanjay (21) as they were missing,” deputy commissioner of police MN Anucheth said.

Police said neighbours noticed the stench but thought it could be from a dead dog in the sewage drain.

Police started questioning all those who knew the mother and the son, which led them to the engineering college where Sanjay is a student of aeronautical engineering.

They said their phones, which they found in the house, led them to a breakthrough when call records from Sanjay’s mobile revealed he was in constant touch with Nandeesh (21), who is also a student of aeronautical engineering.

“... Sanjay is a very smart boy and he made sure to leave his phone behind so that we would not be able to trace him. We are hoping that he will come back to save his friend, who is in our custody,” Anucheth said.

“When we interrogated Nandeesh with this evidence, he confessed that he had helped the mother and son to dispose of the body,” he said.

From L-R: Nandeesh, Shashikala and Sanjay.
From L-R: Nandeesh, Shashikala and Sanjay. ( HT Photos )

According to Nandeesh’s statement to the police, Shashikala lost her temper on August 17, 2016, after Shantakumari threw away a plate of food.

“The family was in trouble financially as there was no income and the money from the two plots that belonged to Shantakumari, which were sold about 5 years ago, had also been exhausted. This could explain Shashikala’s anger at her mother for throwing food,” police said.

Shashikala allegedly called Sanjay immediately after the incident, who was not at home, and by the time he got back, Shantakumari was believed to have died. Sanjay then called Nandeesh who he thought could help them.

They said after the family was kicked out of another house last year because they were unable to pay rent, it was Nandeesh who helped them. “They were forced to take shelter in the Kempegowda Bus Stand in the city. And all the while, it was Nandeesh bringing them food every day,” Anucheth said.

After Nandeesh arrived at the house they planned to hire a cab and go to Shivamogga to dump the body. “However, the driver, a friend of Nandeesh, got held up and could not go to the house that day,” police said.

Sanjay and Nandeesh then decided to buy large plastic drums, steal sand from nearby construction sites and buy charcoal, supposed to be a natural deodorant, from a local store and dispose of the body in the nearby lake.

“When we went through his phone, we saw he had been very interested in deodorants,” police said.

Sanjay also got samples of industrial deodorants from a private company.

However, they feared that moving a large drum could make neighbours suspicious and decided to stuff the body in a closet and seal it with cement and paint it red in its the original colour.

“Shashikala and Sanjay lived in that house with a skeleton in the closet until February, when they decided to leave unable to control the stench anymore,” Anucheth said.

Sanjay and Nandeesh, both facing financial troubles, were also been involved in petty loan fraud, he added.

“They would con people on websites by promising loans on the payment of a small processing fee. The fee never exceeded Rs 5,000 because they feared larger amounts would land them in trouble with the police,” Anucheth said.

The duo is believed to have conned about 5 to 6 people every month in this manner. “They used to con only till they had enough money to manage for the month,” Anucheth said.

The family had moved to Bengaluru in 1997 from Shivamogga after Shashikala and her husband were divorced. The family kept to themselves and didn’t have many friends.

“Sanjay was a very brilliant student and we have found that he was a topper in the Class 10 exams,” a senior police official said.

Police are now on the lookout for Shashikala and Sanjay.

First Published: May 15, 2017 16:23 IST

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