The case of the death of Kiran Bhatia, a 43-year-old woman who died on August 26 after falling off the 16th floor of her building in Bengaluruâ€™s Yashwanthpur has taken another turn.
According to her son Harshal Bhatia's statement before a magistrate court, the case which was initially believed to be a suicide now appears to be a murder. Harshal told the court he suspects his father pushed her off the building after a heated argument.
Harshalâ€™s statement on October 9 indicating his fatherâ€™s role in his motherâ€™s death has prompted police officials investigating the case to level charges of murder against 48-year-old Devendra Bhatia, Kiranâ€™s husband.
Harshal was one of several people who submitted their statements to police officials at RMC Yard Police Station that Kiranâ€™s death was a suicide.
"It appeared to be an open and shut case. Everyone who came forward to submit a statement had said that it was a suicide. But a few weeks later, Harshal returned to us accusing his father of harassing his mother," an investigating officer at RMC Yard Police Station told TNM.
The police, who first registered a case of unnatural death, then registered a case of abetment of suicide against Devendra.
On September 11, Harshal reached the police station after returning from his hometown in Rajasthan. He wanted to change his statement and accused his father of pushing Kiran off the balcony of their apartment after a heated argument.
Harshal told the police that he was in his room when he heard his mother and father arguing. While he was coming out, he heard a noise and rushed to see his distressed father claiming that he did not do anything.
"Initially, he believed that it was an accident and hence told the police it was a case of suicide. A few days ago, we arrested Devendra and registered a case against him," said the investigating police officer.
Devendra was arrested under Section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the IPC. The DCP, however, confirmed that he will now be tried under Section 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide).
Harshal also alleged that the police had altered his earlier statement while filing the FIR in Kannada. Harshal claimed that the investigating police official lived in the same apartment as his family and was close to his father.
Responding to the allegations, Chetan Singh Rathore, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) told TNM that Raviprasad, ACP, Yashwanthpur had been asked to conduct an internal inquiry and submit a report. "We will take action based on the report if any police official has erred," he said.