Bengaluru: 6 men held for 83-year-old’s murder, some with links to multiple robberies in city

An 83-year-old woman who lived alone in HSR Layout in south-east Bengaluru was robbed and murdered by a gang that included members involved in multiple robberies in the city, the Bengaluru police revealed on Friday, following the arrest of six persons of Nepali origin for the August 12 robbery and murder.

A few days before committing the crime, two members of the gang approached the victim with an offer to provide security services at the residential building she owned. The familiarity built over the initial meeting was used to approach the elderly woman again on the night of August 12 to gain access to the house when she opened the door, police said.

The police have arrested five persons directly involved in the robbery and murder and also a sixth person who worked in a nearby street – he allegedly provided information to the gang about the elderly woman living on her own in the area.

Jayashree S, 83, was living alone in the house in south-east Bengaluru since the death of her husband, a former police official M Srinivasan. Her two sons were living separately in Bengaluru.

In a police complaint, one of the sons, Suresh Srinivasan, said that Jayashree chose to live alone despite requests by her sons to live with them. According to the complaint, unidentified persons entered the house on the night of August 12 and killed Jayashree. The assailants also allegedly stole gold ornaments from her body and the house.

One of the main men in the gang involved in the crime was identified as Shivaraj Bahaddur Kotayath alias Shibu, who was allegedly involved in over a dozen robbery cases in north-east Bengaluru in the Yelahanka and Sampigehalli police station limits in the 2010 period.

Among the others arrested are Mukesh and Kamal, who allegedly approached the elderly woman under the pretext of offering to work as security guards for the three-storey residential building the victim owned and rented to tenants. The duo allegedly entered the house on the night of August 12 and carried out the murder. The two others involved directly in the robbery and murder are Kadakh Singh and Gajendra.

“The modus operandi of the gang was to gain access to the house to commit a robbery. After one person gained access, other members of the gang joined them in ransacking the house for gold and cash,” police sources said.

An amount of Rs 2.4 lakh in cash that was in the house, jewellery, and gold were stolen by the gang. All the stolen jewelry and gold were recovered, police sources said.

As part of the investigation, police questioned over 40 persons of Nepali origin working in Bengaluru, and analysed technical data of phone communications between individuals to identify the main suspects, police sources said.

“This case indicates that citizens should be wary of strangers approaching them under the pretext of offering to work at their homes. The antecedents of such persons should be verified before employment,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-East) C K Baba said.

In the HSR Layout case, the suspects carried out the robbery and murder at the home of the 83-year-old without any of the gang members working at the building for even a single day, police sources said.

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