Bangalore July 30, 2013: A sixty-one-year-old man beat his wife to death over a trivial issue on Tuesday morning and hanged himself at his house in Srikantheshwara Nagar, Mahalakshmi Layout.
Nanjappa and his wife Shashikala, 55, were from Chenuvalli village, Nelamangala, and had been married for three decades. Once employed as a technician at ITI, KR Puram, Nanjappa had retired from service and was working at a private firm in the City.
The couple had three children – Dhanalakshmi, Devika and Manjunath – all married. While the daughters lived separately with their families, Manjunath, an assistant professor of Mathematics at Christ University, lived at his parents’ home with his spouse, Pavitra, and son Varun, 3.
Family members described the love marriage of Nanjappa with Shashikala as having turned rocky over the years. One sore spot was Shashikala’s display of wealth. According to police, Shashikala ran a successful private chit fund business which had allowed the family to purchase three properties in the City.
Her success, however, led to ego clashes with Nanjappa, described by the family as being a simple employee without much money.
“Shashikala often chided Nanjappa for his inability to earn much,” said Sharath, a family member. “Nanjappa felt humiliated, which often led to fiery arguments between the two.”
Their youngest daughter, Devika, admitted to police that her parents’ marriage had worsened in the last six months.
Final telephone call
According to police, Nanjappa killed his wife at around 10 am.
Manjunath told police that he had left for the university at 8:30 am and that his parents had been cordial with each other that morning. Pavitra, however, said Nanjappa and Shashikala began to argue minutes later.
“Upset, Nanjappa asked Pavitra to take her child, Varun, and go to her parent’s house in Peenya, as they wanted privacy to sort out issues,” police said. “Pavitra and Varun left the house at around 9 am. Unconfirmed reports said that Nanjappa even took away Pavitra’s mobile phone.”
At around 10 am, Devika received a phone call from Nanjappa. She remembered the conversation as being strange.
“He asked me to come home after having lunch,” she told Deccan Herald. “He said he had kept my share of the jewellery in his bag and asked me to collect it. When I asked why he was speaking of a share in the family’s jewels, he did not answer immediately, but said that this may be the last time we would speak to each other.”
After that, Nanjappa cut the call. “I felt something was seriously wrong and I rushed home immediately from my workplace in Malleswaram,” Devika said. “I reached the house by 10:40 am, but by that time, it was too late. The door of the house was ajar and as I entered, I saw my father hanging from the ceiling fan in the hall and my mother lying dead in a pool of blood near the kitchen door.”
Blunt instrument used
According to Sandeep Patil, DCP (North), preliminary investigation revealed that Nanjappa had attacked his wife with a wooden stick. “Shashikala had sustained severe head injuries and had bled to death,” Patil said.
“Nanjappa hanged himself after calling his daughter and did not leave behind a suicide letter explaining his actions,” Patil said.
Devika, who said that her father was a calm man, expressed shock that he could do this to the family.