When 28-year-old Mahalakshmi was rushed to the hospital on June 28 after failing to wake up from her afternoon sleep, her father Nanjundappa did not expect that he would return home with her corpse.
Mahalakshmi lived with her father and younger brother Shiv Kumar in Anchepete in Bengaluru. After she was declared dead at the Victoria Hospital, Nanjundappa initially suspected that his daughter, who police say had been in depression for many years, had killed herself.
However, the truth was much harsher than that, and shattered the three-member family. Nanjundappa's son Shiv Kumar was soon to be arrested for the murder of his sister.
According to the police, Shiv Kumar had allegedly strangled Mahalakshmi, fearing that his sister's mental condition would come in the way of his marriage prospects. Police say that he was frustrated that Mahalakshmi demanded he leave his job to continuously look after her.
The incident came to light when the police received the post-mortem report on Friday, which revealed that strangulation was the cause of Mahalakshmi’s death. With Nanjundappa himself suffering from numerous ailments, and no signs of anyone from outside entering the house to commit the crime, the police soon joined the dots.
When the father-son duo was called in for questioning, 24-year-old Shiv Kumar reportedly confessed that he had indeed killed his sister.
Why Shiv Kumar allegedly did it
After their mother's death seven years ago, Mahalakshmi slipped into depression. Weight issues plagued her, and this reportedly led to marriage proposals not working out for her, said a police official.
The police said that Shiv Kumar used to work at a jewellery store, but was forced to leave the job a year ago, after Mahalaskhmi demanded that he do so.
"Shiv Kumar confessed that his sister demanded that he quit and sit at home to take care of her. And a year ago, he was forced to give in to her demand. Since then, the family ran on the father's earnings. Shiv Kumar was also frustrated that he was not able to get married, because of a sister who was mentally unsound. That's how he hatched a plan to kill her," Chickpet ACP N Niranjan told TNM.
Every day after lunch, Mahalakshmi would take a nap until late evening. Shiv Kumar saw this as a perfect opportunity. On June 28, he used a plastic wire to strangle her in her sleep and returned to his unsuspecting father, who was sleeping in an adjacent room.
After Shiv Kumar was called in for questioning on Friday, he confessed to the crime. He was charged with section 302 (murder) and was sent to judicial custody.