CHENNAI: “How could my son do this to my master? I am shocked.” This was the first reaction of Lal Sharma, father of Krishna, arrested for the murder of auditor Srikanth and his wife Anuradha at their Mylapore residence.
Lal Sharma was a security guard for 20 years at the couple’s farmhouse, where their bodies were buried by his son after the murder. Police, however, are cautious and say they would reserve their verdict about the father’s innocence till investigation is completed.
Twelver hours after the murder, Krishna and his accomplice were arrested in Ongole, Andhra Pradesh with Rs 9 crore worth valuables. A special team immediately contacted Lal Sharma, now in Nepal and summoned him for questioning. The 70-year-old initially refused to believe his son killed them and told the investigators that he and his family were well taken care of.
Krishna, police said had planned the murder meticulously. He was aware that the auditor and his wife were watching their home through CCTV, even when they were in USA. They used to call Krishna and enquire about his whereabouts if they find the car not in the compound.
The killer-duo waited for the couple to board the flight, and then dismantled the CCTV cameras when the flight was in transit. They also took away the DVR (digital video recorder) while fleeing.
Krishna picked up the couple from the airport at 4.15 am and within minutes of them reaching home, he switched off the power supply. Under the cover of darkness, Krishna and his accomplice used a metal shovel and cricket stumps to hit the couple repeatedly.
This blow, police suspect could have resulted in their immediate death. The accused spent two hours, packing their loot and cleaning the bloodstains before they left to the farmhouse to bury them.
CCTV cameras at Uthandi toll plaza capture the car at 10.30 am, returning from the farmhouse. An hour later, the vehicle had crossed Villivakkam and by 4 pm, it was in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh.
When Mylapore police Inspector M Ravi’s team visited the farmhouse to exhume the bodies, they found a half-burnt cricket stump which was used in the murder near the place where the bodies were buried. Police also found an electric wire connected to the fence, suspected to be a recent arrangement by the accused to prevent people from entering the farmhouse. However, the accused claimed that they made the arrangement long ago to prevent trespassers looting mangoes from the farmhouse.