By S.T. Ravikumar
That was a brutal murder. The case is of a Gazetted Officer, who killed his wife by stabbing her stomach and chest umpteen times in 2003, to vent his anger and take revenge. Though the incident occurred 14 years ago, the long arms of law failed to catch up with the absconding criminal and at present, the case is among the unsolved murders that has made an average Mysurean to point his accusing fingers at the Police machinery.
Though the Police would have forgotten the case, for the victim Radha’s daughter and her aged parents, they will have to live with the bitter trauma till their last breath. There was only crime in this case without even a trace of punishment, at least for the minimum comfort of the family members that justice has been done. While the murderer officer fulfilled his revenge, the family’s wait for justice seems like a mirage.
It was a small and contented family of Beeraiah, his wife Radha and their three-year-old daughter. Beeraiah was a Gazetted Officer and the family lived in House No. 79 which they had taken on rent near old Police Station Road at Metagalli. Beeraiah alias Raju was an Assistant Executive Engineer in Public Works Department.
An unassuming personality, Beeraiah kept to himself most of the times even at his office. He mingled with his friends only during his leisure, and that too not often.
Trouble began in the family with the entry of Dharmappa, who was Beeraiah’s close friend. Dharmappa was a Veterinary Inspector in the Animal Husbandry Department and was the President of Veterinary Inspectors’ Association at that time. Both the friends used to meet at Beeraiah’s house and Radha was Dharmappa’s distant relative. Things were hunky dory for some years until Beeraiah suspected that his wife was having an affair with Dharmappa.
Unable to digest this, Beeraiah confronted his wife and counselled her many times. Fearing social stigma and finding fault with his wife, Beeraiah decided to kill her while letting his friend Dharmappa off the hook. In a pre-meditated murder, he bought a knife a week before the crime and killed Radha on the night of August 17, 2003. So brutal was the killing that he stabbed his wife many times in her stomach, chest and throat.
Planning the murder well, Beeraiah had sent his daughter to his in-law’s place in Hassan. Even in their wildest dreams, his in-laws too did not realise Beeraiah’s intentions and thought that he leaving his daughter at their place was normal. After killing Radha, Beeraiah left home the same night on his Suzuki Max bike and abandoned the vehicle along with his slippers near the Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) Dam.
The then Metagalli Inspector B. Swami (now no more) had booked a case under IPC Section 302 (CR. No. 98/2003). As Beeraiah, the prime suspect, had left his bike and slippers near the KRS dam, a team led by the then Metagalli Sub-Inspector Madhavarao (now retired) began its search suspecting that Beeraiah could have committed suicide by jumping into the dam. Though expert divers were summoned from Kochi, Beeraiah’s body was nowhere to be found.
Suspecting that Beeraiah would have hoodwinked the Police by leaving his bike and slippers near the dam, the then City Police Commissioner Bipin Gopalakrishna (now no more) had formed a team headed by B.P. Suresh, the then Assistant Commissioner of Police, N.R. Sub-Division and handed over the investigation. Taking over the case, the new team, despite grilling Dharmappa for many days, could not find any clue that could lead them to the killer.
Dharmappa was let off and later, the Metagalli Police learnt that Dharmappa was killed in a road accident near Ballari where he had been to a State-level seminar. Dharmappa’s death came to light five years after Radha was murdered.
The Police, on their part, did not close the case and continued their search for Beeraiah. They even waited in mufti near Hemavathi Layout in Hassan, Beeraiah’s in-law’s place, assuming that he would at least come for his daughter’s birthday. Beeraiah, however, never turned up. His daughter, now 21, is pursuing her Computer Science course. As she has lost her parents, she is being taken care of by her grandparents and uncles.
Beeraiah’s whereabouts remains a mystery till date. The Police are not even sure if he is dead or alive. The attendance register at the office where Beeraiah worked still shows his ‘unauthorised absence’ since 18.08.2003.
The case today has taken the place of a first incident in Mysuru where the accused killed his wife and has been on the run since 14 years. The case file that had the records of Radha’s murder was destroyed when rain water entered Metagalli Police Station. According to the present Metagalli Inspector Sunil Kumar, sometime back, when one of Radha’s relatives asked for the case file in writing, the Police had to make a note in the application that the file has been destroyed.