Cops hunt for woman mastermind

CHENNAI: The city police on Sunday claimed to have solved the gruesome murder of an elderly couple in Saidapet with the arrest of three men, but there are still a number of gaps in the case, which can only be filled with the arrest of a 30-year-old woman who is still on the run.

City police commissioner K Radhakrishnan on Sunday announced the arrest of M Dinesh (27), E Pugazhenthi (29) and A Senthil Nathan (25), natives of Periya Kancheepuram. Police have launched a hunt for Sangeetha, a native of Sholinghur in Vellore district, who according to the arrested men, is the mastermind behind the murder. Police recovered nine sovereigns of jewellery and two knives from the trio.

The murder of Anandakrishnan (59) and his wife, Yamuna (50), came to light on New Year’s day. Initially, the police were stumped but got a few leads after questioning neighbours.

“A neighbour noticed three men rushing out of the apartment and leaving in a Mahindra Scorpio. The person was able to recall a portion of the car registration number. We gathered more details about the car and traced it to Kancheepuram. Inquiries with the driver revealed the names of the persons, who had engaged the car for a trip to Chennai,” a senior police officer said.

Police then interrogated Dinesh, an employee of a private company in SIPCOT in Oragadam. He revealed the names of his friends, Pugazhenthi and Senthil Nathan, who also worked in private companies there.
Dinesh said Sangeetha was married to Kannan of Sholinghur, with whom she lived for eight years. She then married Jaganathan of Arakkonam and stayed with him for three years. Later on, she married Uma Shankar and lived with him for six months. Two months ago, Sangeetha met Dinesh at a private hospital in Kancheepuram, where she was admitted for injuries following a suicide attempt. Sangeetha and Dinesh got married a month ago.

Dinesh said Sangeetha had planned the murders. She told Dinesh that her parents were objecting to her fourth marriage, and that she was being held captive in a relative’s house in Chennai. She said Anandakrishnan’s daughter, Jothi, had helped her escape and that they should now help Jothi.

“Though Anandakrishnan did not have a daughter named Jothi, Sangeetha created a imaginary daughter. She told Dinesh that if the couple were murdered, all their property would come to Jothi, which would benefit them too. She also instructed Dinesh to steal the jewellery. Dinesh engaged his friends and committed the murder,” Radhakrishnan said.

According to police, the three of them reached Chennai in the car on December 29. They entered the house saying that they wanted to learn about music and yoga, as instructed to them by Sangeetha earlier.

The couple usually did not let people into the house, but Anandakrishnan was known to be a music lover and played the harmonium. Around 7 pm, while they were discussing music, Dinesh pulled out a knife and killed Anandakrishnan. Pugazhenthi and Senthil Nathan killed Yamuna in the kitchen, where she was making coffee. They stole the jewellery and escaped, police said.

Radhakrishnan commended the work done by the investigating team. “However, there are a few unanswered questions who exactly is Sangeetha, why did she create such a story, why did she want to eliminate the couple, how does she benefit from the murder. We can solve these only after we arrest her,” he said. Special teams have been sent to track down Sangeetha, he added.

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