On Thursday, Pravin Bhateley, a senior manager working with Oracle Private Limited on Bannerghatta Road in Bengaluru, was arrested by the Ahmedabad police. But strangely, Kiran Chowdhury, the inspector dressed as an employee of the IT company who came to arrest Pravin, said, "Hello Tarun, it's over... Let's go."
Pravin was an alias, a cover, for 42-year-old Tarun Kumar Jinaraj - it was the name he had used since 2003. Tarun, a Malayali who had been based out of Ahmedabad, had allegedly strangled his wife to death and had been on the run for 15 years. The trail on the case had gone cold until recently when Tarun made a phone call to his mother from the landline at the Oracle office.
Police officials recently visited Tarun's mother Annamma Chacko at her residence in Mandsaur. After tracing her calls later, they realised that Tarun was living under a different identity in Bengaluru.
Tarun's wife died on February 14, 2003, just four months after their marriage. He had then claimed that the death of his wife was the result of a robbery gone wrong. But police investigation found that Tarun had murdered his wife as a Valentine's Day gift for his girlfriend.
The murder was in the news in Gujarat, however, Tarun managed to escape before the police zeroed in on him as a suspect in the case. His wife, Sajni Jinaraj, a bank employee, was 26 at the time of her death.
Tarun then assumed the identity of an old college friend from his hometown of Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh. Tarun changed his name to Pravin Bhateley and started working at Oracle in Bengaluru. He worked night shifts and maintained a low profile. Though his girlfriend did not marry him, Tarun married another woman and soon settled down in Bengaluru.
“While on the run, Tarun first worked in Delhi and then in Pune. He remarried a woman named Nisha in Pune and is the father of two boys. He began working for Oracle six years ago. He drew a salary of Rs 22 lakh per annum and was leading a happy life in BTM Layout II Stage,” Special police commissioner, Ahmedabad crime branch, JK Bhatt told the Times of India.
Police officials recently visited Tarun's mother Annamma Chacko at her residence in Mandsaur.
“She told us she has two sons, one who lives in the south and the other in Ahmedabad. We then found that she often visits Kerala and Bengaluru. In Kerala, she went to a religious place,” a DCB official told The New Indian Express.
While investigating her visit to Bengaluru, the police found out that Annamma received calls from a landline number registered with Oracle in Bengaluru and a cell phone number registered in the name of Nisha, whom police found to be Tarun's current wife.
When Tarun made a call to his mother from his office landline, police officials arrived at the Bengaluru Oracle office but could not recognise Tarun from the list of employees. Photographs of Tarun were dispatched and soon it was clear that Tarun had assumed the new identity of Pravin.
Dramatic scenes unfolded when Inspector Kiran Chowdhury, who was leading the investigation, walked into the Oracle office dressed as an employee and approached Tarun's cubicle, called him out and said, “Hello Tarun, it's over… Let's go."
After initially denying the crime, Tarun eventually confessed to killing his wife 15 years ago and also informed his current wife Nisha of his true identity.
TNM spoke to Sajini's parents who told us how the marriage happened and the trauma later. Read- A 15-yr wait: Sajini's parents relieved as husband, her alleged killer, is caught