Bengaluru, Sept 19: Hallegere Shankar, the aggrieved editor of a Kannada newspaper has held his deceased wife responsible for his family tragedy, wherein four members committed suicide and allowed a child to starve to death.
In an eight-page police complaint on Saturday, Hallegere Shankar stated that his wife, Bharathi, 51, was the root cause of endless disputes in the family. He alleged that she didn’t allow their daughters to live with their husbands, thereby wrecking their marital lives.
On Friday evening, Shankar’s wife, daughters Sinchana, 34, Sindhurani, 31, and son Madhusagar, 25, were found hanging in the family’s home in Thigalarapalya, off Magadi Road. Sindhurani’s nine-month-old baby boy was found dead on a bed, apparently starved to death. Sinchana’s two-and-a-half-year-old daughter was rescued from a state of near-starvation.
Police suspect that the three women killed themselves on September 13 and Madhusagar ended his life two days later because his body was not as decomposed as the other three corpses.
In the complaint, Shankar made several allegations against his family members but laid the most blame on his deceased wife.
He stated that she often egged their daughters to stay away from their husbands. Whenever the daughters complained of petty issues in their marital lives, Bharathi supported them instead of counselling them. Both Sinchana and Sindhurani had been living with their parents for the past one and a half years. Twenty days ago, Sindhurani allegedly consumed some pills and later filed a police complaint against her husband, Srikanth. Sinchana had similar fights with her husband Praveen Kumar.
A fight for Rs 10 lakh
Madhusagar wanted to open a bar in Ittamadu and had spent lakhs on setting up the business. He got the excise licence and had asked for his father’s signature on some papers. Shankar refused, resulting in another fight.
On September 12, Shankar had a heated argument with his family over two issues. He had asked his wife and son to give him Rs 10 lakh for building an ashram. They said no. All the money was in his wife’s custody, and she gave it to him whenever needed.
The same day, Bharathi and Sindhurani quarrelled with Shankar over holding the sacramental ear-piercing ceremony for the infant. Fed up with these issues, Shankar left home in a huff and returned on Friday evening only to discover the deaths.
After his father left home, Madhusagar tried calling him and texted him, promising to pay Rs 10 lakh but Shankar chose not to respond.
All the five bodies were handed over to the family on Saturday after the post mortem at Victoria Hospital. The last rites were performed at the Sumanahalli crematorium.
While police are waiting for autopsy reports, a senior officer quoted doctors as saying that the nine-month-old baby had starved to death.
Shankar’s deceased daughters, Sinchana and Sindhurani, had been preparing for UPSC exams and aspired to get into IAS/IPS, police sources say.
Sinchana was an MBA graduate while Sindhurani had studied engineering. Their brother, Madhusagar, also an engineer, worked for a nationalised bank.
Police are checking the text messages and phone calls of the four deceased persons and questioning the relatives to verify Shankar’s allegations.
Investigators questioned Shankar’s sons-in-law, Kumar and Srikanth, about when and why their wives left them and what they had done to bring them back.
Surviving child stable
Sinchana and Kumar’s daughter, rescued from a state of near-starvation, is recovering in a hospital. Kumar was horrified to learn that the child went without food for days. Madhusagar, who the police believe took his life two days later, had fed something to the child. The child may not have eaten anything after he also ended his life.