It was a case that had shaken Bengaluru. A case where an old mother had walked in and out of courtrooms and finally got justice for her daughter who had been raped, murdered and her body dumped in bushes.
Seven years after Shiva Kumar, the rapist and murderer of 25-year-old Prathibha Srikantamurthy, an HP call-centre employee was convicted by the 11th Fast Track Court of Bengaluru, allegations have been made that Shiva Kumar is having a good time in jail.
A photograph showing Shiva Kumar and a woman with their arms around each other has gone viral. The photo has raised many questions. Is the photo real or morphed? Who is the woman? Where and when was the photograph taken? Did he go out of jail?
The photo with a yellow wall in the background suggests that the photo was taken outside the jail premises. Posts on social media claimed that the woman was a home guard and the duo was out of jail on the pretext of Shiva Kumar needing medical attention.
The transgressions and alleged concessions to Shiva Kumar may have shocked many, but former Deputy Inspector General (Prisons) D Roopa is least surprised. IPS officer D Roopa was transferred soon after she pointed out the VIP treatment given to VK Sasikala and others at the Parappana Agrahara jail.
Speaking to TNM, Roopa who is currently DIG (Traffic and Road Safety) said, “When I was listening to grievances of prisoners, they said chief superintendent Krishnakumar has a small coterie of prisoners who manage everything including a collection of bribes. Bribes were collected for request of parole and favours like meeting visitors or for getting food from home. These same prisoners would also work as night watchmen. I was also told that Shiva Kumar was the leader of this small group.”
Jail officials, however, deny the veracity of the photograph saying an internal enquiry has found the photo to be a morphed one.
“I have not seen the photo myself. But we conducted an enquiry after media reports came out. We found that the photo was false, those two could not have met,” the current jail Superintendent Somashekhar told TNM.
The Times of India quoted the home guard saying that the photograph was a conspiracy by one of her colleagues who was keen on replacing her in “hospital duty”.