news Monday, January 05, 2015 - 05:30
Keerthi Prakasam| The News Minute| May 14, 2014| 7.23 pm IST On December 24, 2012 a member of the Mavelikkara royal family and diamond merchant was found dead at a friend’s home in Thiruvananthapuram. The man who had claimed that he had royal diamonds in his possession had died of an overdose of chloroform. Soon Kerala media was abuzz with reports on Harihara Varma, a royal family member killed for diamonds worth Rs 300 crores. One week into the investigation and the police found that the man who had lived for years claiming to be a royal family member was not one! The media then went berserk about the impostor. Today a fast track court in Kerala has given double life imprisonment to five accused in the case. But who was Harihara Varma still remains a mystery. A man who called himself a member of the Mavelikkara royal family. Even his wife Vimaladevi, a government servant and her relatives, believed Harihara Varma was the son of Bhaskara Varma of the Mavelikkara royal family.Bhaskara Varma, the man who Harihara Varma claimed was his father denied the reports around the same time the details of the case were emerging. He said in an interview to Mathrubhumi, “I am 64 years old, and he was 55 at the time of his death, are you telling me that I fathered a child when I was nine?” Bhaskara Varma also added that no person called Harihara Varma has ever lived in the history of the Mavelikkara royal family. He also said that there were no precious jewels that the royal family possessed. At the time of his murder, Harihara Varma was staying at his friend, advocate Haridas’s house. According to Haridas, a gang of five attacked them and suffocated them with chloroform amidst negotiations. The post mortem reports said that Varma died due to high levels of chloroform intake. The Central Bureau of Investigation took over the case midway and Varma’s friend, Haridas was found to be the sixth accused. All the five accused found guilty in the case hail from middle class families. Three of them are engineering students who used to study in Bangalore. The group used to act as middlemen, between private colleges and students who “buy” seats in colleges. Once they got to know about the gems that Varma possessed, they tried to secure a deal. For the first phase of the deal, the group even put together an amount of ten lakhs, and waited for seven months. After a point, they got impatient and decided to steal the diamonds after arranging a meeting with Varma. The gems they got from Harihara Varma turned out to be fake, Varma’s friend was let off for lack of evidence. Police say almost everything about the man was fake… right from his school certificates to the gems.. He lived a lie and sadly, was killed for it.

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