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Two Bangalore women ‘sacrificed’ for ‘hidden treasure’


Bangalore : A five-member gang that last month killed two Bangalore women by smashing their heads as a ‘sacrifice’ to enable it find a hidden treasure has been arrested.

Aruna, 35, was ‘sacrificed’ on Dec 25 and her friend Elizabeth, 43, two days later by the gang led by Ravindra alias Kadumanushya alias Ajay, whose family was in the business of identifying locales for digging wells, police said Thursday.

The murders had taken place on the banks of two rivers in Maddur town, about 80 km from here and the gang was nabbed from their residences in Bangalore Jan 14, city Police Commissioner N. Achutha Rao told reporters.

Ravindra, 24, told police that a tantrik had informed him that he would find a hidden treasure in his house if he sacrificed women.

He befriended Aruna and Elizabeth through a friend of his and came to know that the two had recently closed their separate beauty parlours. He offered to arrange special poojas for them to get over their financial problems, Rao said.

He took Aruna on Dec 25 to the banks of the Vaishnavi river near Maddur and smashed her head with a stone as she closed her eyes to pray. He did the same with Elizabeth later on the banks of the Shimsha river, also near Maddur, Rao said.

Before killing the two women the gang relieved them of jewellery, cash and a mobile phone.

Elizabeth has a 22-year-old daughter working in a software company, and a 19-year-old college going son while Aruna’s daughter is doing her first year pre-university course and son is in Class 9.

Elizabeth’s husband runs a paying guest accommodation business while Aruna’s husband helps her brothers who are in transport business, police said.

Four members of the gang are all in their twenties.

Ravindra was also suspected to be involved in a murder in the famous Jain pilgrim centre of Shravanabelagola, about 160 km from Bangalore, about a year back, said S.K. Mahesh, inspector of the Kalasipalyam police station in the heart of the city, who led the team in nabbing the gang.

Earlier this month, the Kalasipalyam police had arrested a woman serial killer, Kempamma alias Mallika, who is alleged to be involved in the murder of 10 women, first one in October 1999 and the rest all in 2007.

She is reported to have confessed to six murders. Kempamma used to lure women in distress by offering to conduct special poojas to ward off their problems and then administer cyanide to them.