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Bride murdered, husband missing

Staff Reporter


— Photo: K. Gopinathan

Tragic end:Hemah Reddy and Bharat A. Shivmurthy.

BANGALORE: Her first marriage to a relative in December 2005 ended in 11 days; her second, to an employee of a technology giant, ended in four days with her murder.

The putrefied body of Hemah Reddy (28) was found at her new home at Banaswadi. Her new husband, Bharat A. Shivmurthy (32), is missing.

The Ramamurthynagar police said she went against her family's wishes and married Shivmurthy, an employee of Sasken Communication Technologies Ltd., at a quiet temple ceremony attended by five people on May 6.

No response

Police, who suspect she may have been smothered to death four days later, said Shivmurthy was supposed to return to work on May 10 for an assignment. When he did not turn up and failed to respond to phone calls, two of his colleagues were sent to his house to check on him.

These colleagues, who turned up at the house on Friday, found it unlocked. When they entered it, they were nauseated by a strong rotting odour. To their utter horror, they found Hemah's maggot-infested body on the cot in the bedroom and alerted the police. The landlord, who lived on the first floor, claimed he didn't see or hear anything suspicious. The police, who are still trying to investigate the couple's antecedents, found a visiting card in the house that said Hemah was working with Nirvana Events at Sapthagiri Layout in Vidyaranyapura. Police sources also said that she was a modern dance enthusiast and organised such events for the corporate sector. The police revealed very little about Nirvana Events and an independent search did not lead to either the management of the firm or its employees. However, enquiries in the event management industry by The Hindu led to a person who claimed to have known the dead woman.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, this person, a member of a dance troupe and supplier of sound equipment, claimed she had lost faith in the institution of marriage until she met Shivmurthy.

From Davangere

Police investigations into Shivmurthy's past revealed that he is originally from Davangere and had been working at Sasken since August 2009.

Hemah's family, which took possession of her body on Saturday, was vehemently opposed to her marriage as Shivmurthy belongs to another caste. Right now, the needle of suspicion points to the husband as he is missing, the police said.

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