Mumbai/Madikeri: A former hockey player from Kodagu Chenanda Naveen Appaiah was allegedly murdered by his wife Amita alias Amrita at their house in Mumbai. The incident took place yesterday afternoon when things went out of control during a fight between the couple.
According to Mumbai Police, 52-year-old Naveen Appaiah lived on the 27th floor of a plush Agarwal Trinity Tower Society in Malad’s (West) Kachpada area with his 45-year-old wife Amita, 23-year-old son, Ganapathy, and a 15-year-old daughter.
His family members from Madikeri told Star of Mysore that Appaiah had left Kodagu to Mumbai years ago and earned fame by playing hockey. He was a powerful striker and was pretty close with former captain of Indian hockey team Dhanraj Pillai and former captain of Indian cricket team Sourav Ganguly.
Police said that yesterday, Appaiah’s children went out of the house while the couple was enjoying a few drinks in the afternoon. The two soon started arguing over an issue which took an ugly turn when Amita brought a knife from the kitchen and stabbed Appaiah several times. She then injured herself, the Police said.
Appaiah started screaming loudly for help and this alerted their neighbours who in-turn informed the Police Control Room. A Police team arrived and rushed the injured couple to Shatabdi Hospital. While Appaiah was declared brought dead by doctors, Amita is undergoing treatment.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone XI), Vikram Deshmane said that after calling the Control Room, the neighbours rushed into the flat on hearing screams and entered the house only to find Appaiah in a pool of blood. Amita had stabbed him at least seven times on the chest and abdomen. The neighbours later called the couple’s son Ganapathy and informed him about the incident.
Amita has been booked under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code which deals with murder. Police said that prima facie she had committed the crime following a family dispute.
Naveen Appaiah was a former executive with an Indian multinational conglomerate and has also represented the Indian national junior hockey team in his younger days. He also played for Air India, Tata and Bombay hockey teams for several years. Appaiah had taken retirement from service. Amita is employed with a private company and is Appaiah’s second wife. Ganapathy is his son from his first wife. Neighbours said the couple used to fight frequently over petty issues as Amita was short-tempered. Investigators are also recording the statements of children to ascertain the motive.
Former India hockey coach Clarence Lobo who had played alongside Appaiah said, “I’m shocked by what has happened. He was a fit and quick right winger. He hit powerfully in the striking circle. He hailed from Kodagu and then came to Bengaluru, where Air India picked him.”