Investigators probing the murder of a senior geologist with the Department of Mines and Geology in Bengaluru Monday arrested her former driver in connection with the case.
The man, identified as Kiran who had worked as Prathima’s car driver, was earlier missing. “Kiran was recently taken out from the job by the department and was replaced by another driver. After the incident, Kiran’s mobile phone has been switched off,” said an officer.
The body of Prathima K S, 45, with slit throat, was found at her residence located in Doddakallasandra in Subramanyapura police limits around 8.30 am Sunday, officials said.
According to a senior police officer, the woman was murdered inside her room. “Prathima was first strangulated and then her throat was slit. We are awaiting the post-mortem report. There was no forced entry to the house and no valuables have been missing. Someone known to her has entered the house and killed her,” the officer said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Rahul Kumar Shahapurwad said that Prathima, who has been working in the city for the past four years, returned home from work around 8 pm on Saturday. “We suspect she might have been murdered at night. Three teams have been formed for the investigations,” Shahapurwad said.
Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) and other technical officials visited the crime scene and collected samples and other details.
Prathima is survived by her husband Suryanarayan, who resides near Shivamogga’s Thirthahalli, and a 16-year-old son.
Police said that she had called her younger brother, a civil contractor, on Saturday night and when he tried to contact his sister in the morning, Prathima’s phone was switched off. “Hence he came to Prathima’s residence and found her dead. The grill door was latched from inside but it could have been done by anyone by inserting their hands in the gap,” said the officer.
Dayananda K A, Deputy Commissioner of Bengaluru Urban, who visited the crime scene said that Prathima did not have any kind of work pressure. “She had met me for official work at the office and had told me about the challenges being faced to control the entry of lorries from Tamil Nadu. She was a proactive and positive officer. We had a review meeting a month ago and had told her to control illegal mining. The focus was to monitor the lorries transporting gravel stones from Tamil Nadu,” he added.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that the police are confident of arresting the accused at the earliest.