Shotgun Wedding and a Perfect Murder: Murder jigsaw solved, justice done
Jul 14, 2010
Picture: Shubha and Girish during their engagement ceremony .
BANGALORE: Nearly seven years after Girish, a software engineer with Intel, was murdered on Ring Road, a fast-track court on Tuesday found his fiancee, Shubha, and three others guilty of the act. Girish had been engaged to Shubha just four days before his murder.
HOW THE STORY BEGAN
B V Girish and S Shubha, who were neighbours on 23rd Main Road, Banashankari II Stage, had known each other for 15 years, and were engaged on November 30, 2003. Their marriage was fixed for April 11, 2004.
Shubha was then 21. Daughter of lawyer Shankaranarayana, she was studying final year at BMS College of Law. The engagement with Girish was against her will, as she was in love with Arun Verma, her junior in college. He was from Bihar.
Girish, then 27, was not aware of Shubha's intentions. Girish studied in Dayananad Sagar Institute of Technology and was living with his parents, B Venkatesh, a retired Air Force staffer, and mother Pushpavalli.
Police stated that Shubha's boyfriend Arun, 19, his cousin Dinakar alias Dinesh, and a local thug, Venkatesh, were involved in the murder.
Shubha's father, after learning about her affair with Arun, forced her to get engaged to Girish. Shubha and Arun hatched a plan to eliminate Girish. A desperate Arun hired Venkatesh to kill Girish. Arun's cousin Dinakar helped plan the modalities of the murder.
WHAT HAPPENED THAT DAY
On December 3, 2003, Shubha forced Girish to take her out for dinner and made him stop his bike near the flight landing point on Ring Road, between Indiranagar and Koramangala. Then, HAL airport was operational.
Arun and Venkatesh were waiting on the other side of the road. When Girish was busy watching a flight, Venkatesh went from behind, hit him on the head with a shock absorber, and sped away on Arun's bike.
Shubha shifted Girish to Manipal Hospital, but he died a while later. She told the police an unidentified person assaulted her fiance and ran away. The police, who suspected Shubha, collected call details of her mobile phone, prior to and after Girish's murder on December 3.
There were numerous calls to Arun's number. The police kept a watch on him and collected print-outs of his cellphone calls. They picked up Arun and confronted him with the evidence. He confessed to the murder and, based on this, Shubha, Venkatesh and Dinakar were arrested.
FAMILY WAITS FOR SENTENCE
When the court pronounced Shubha and her three associates guilty, Girish's family was relieved that the battle was finally over.
Girish's sister Sunitha, who was present in court, seemed relieved at judgement but immediately said: "Justice has prevailed and we are relieved. But we are waiting for the sentence that will be announced tomorrow. I can react only after that."
Six years and seven months after software engineer B V Girish had been killed in one of the most high-profile murder cases in the city, his fiance Shubha Shankar, and three others, were convicted of murder by the Bangalore High Court on Tuesday.
In December 2003, four days after their engagement, Shubha and Girish were on their way to dinner on his/ her kinetic. The couple stopped near the flight landing pointon the Ring Road when he was assaulted from behind. Hit on the head with a motorcycle's shock absorber, Girish died a day later in hospital. Shubha had told the police then that Girish had been killed by unknown asaailants.
The police, at first, did not suspect her of having played a part in the episode, and DCP (central) S Parashivamurthy had said as much two weeks after the incident. “She is in a state of shock, we do not suspect her," S Parashivamurthy had said then.
"She is the lone eyewitness to the murder, and we need her co-operation to solve it.’’
It was after the cops investigating the case went through Shubha's phone records, which led them to her boyfriend Arun Verma (then 19), that they suspected foul play. Investigations revealed that Shubha and Arun had hired a local goon, Venkatesh, wih the help of Arun's cousin Dinesh, to kill Girish. All four were pronounced guilty.
Shubha, who was arrested by the police in January, 2004, was in judicial custody for 108 days before being released on bail.
Even though she looked shaken on hearing Judge Vantigodi's verdict on Tuesday, she managed to remain calm. Her parents and relatives, however, broke into tears. A decision on the punishment is expected to be announced on Wednesday.
Delayed, not denied
Girish's family, meanwhile, said they were relieved that justice was not denied, even if it was delayed. ''My brother's head was smashed, but despite knowing that it was his fiancee who had got him killed, we did not say a word to her or her family members. We knew that if we stayed patient, we would get justice," Ramesh B V, Girish's elder brother -- who is also a software engineer -- said after Fast Track Court 17 had announced the verdict.
The family, he said, had religiously attended all the hearings (more than 300) for six years. ''Between 2008 and 2010, my wife Ratna and her father Anantha Narayana Rao attended 145 hearings. People we didn't even know helped us. Eye-witnesses came forward. After getting the conviction, we now finally have some peace of mind," Ramesh said.
Judge Vantigodi, after hearing the arguments, passed his judgement based on electronic evidence and eyewitness records. C V Nagesh, the lawyer defending Shubha and the other accused, had argued that his clients were not even present at the scene of crime, and that one of them was, in fact, at the HAL hospital. The judge said he did not provide sufficient evidence.
News of Girish's murder had shaken Bangalore in 2003. Shubha and Girish had been family friends, residing in Banashankari second stage. Both the families knew each other well and had planned to get Shubha and Girish married.
Their engagement was held on November 30, 2003 in Udupi Hall, near BDA complex, Banashankari and the marriage was fixed for April 2004.
Shubha, however, was in love with her college friend from MMS College of Law in Jayanagar, Arun Verma.
Shubha and Arun, as it turns out, took matters into their own hands -- and roped in Dinesh and Venkatesh. On December 3, 2003, Girish visited Shubha at her place and she persuaded him to go out with her for a drive and dinner. Girish took her to his Intel office and even introduced her to his colleagues after which they went to Thank God Its Friday (TGIF) on Old Madras Road for dinner. After dinner Shubha convinced him to go to the flight landing point, to which place Arun and Venkatesh followed them.
Arun and Venkatesh stopped their bike on the other side of the road, and Venkatesh took out a steel rod and smashed Girish's head. While Venkatesh escaped from the crime scene, Shubha asked those passing by to help take Girish to Manipal hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
November 30, 2003
Girish, 23, engaged to Shubha, 21, at Banashankari
December 3, 2003
The couple have dinner in a restaurant at Carlton Towers on Old Airport Road. Post-dinner, they stop on the Koramangala-Indiranagar stretch of the Intermediate Ring Road to watch planes land/take-off.
Two men walked towards Girish and hit his head with a blunt object before fleeing on a bike. Girish rushed to a nearby hospital, but could not be saved.
Following a complaint by Girish’s brother B V Ramesh, police begin investigating foul play angle. Girish’s colleagues, friends and family members repeatedly petition the police and everyone in power to ensure that the killers are nabbed. Police make the breakthrough after questioning Shubha.
January 25, 2004
Police arrest Shubha from her residence in Banashankari for allegedly plotting Girish’s murder, her ‘boyfriend’ and his accomplices.
February 25, 2004
Trial begins in the Mayo Hall court.
July 10, 2007
State government moves high court to vacate stay on the trial.
December 18-19, 2007
Girish’s father, who was constantly tracking the court developments, dies on December 18. On the 19th, trial begins in a fast-track court.
September 19, 2008
Shubha seeks exemption from weekend attendance to the all-women police station claiming that the inquiry was almost complete and accused the police of deliberately making her wait. Previously, the court while granting conditional bail directed Shubha to defer her foreign trip and also report to the Station House Officer every week.
May 17, 2010
The Fast Track Court convicts the accused for murder.
The quantum of punishment will be announced later.