The murder of a man and an attempt to steal his identity were uncovered when the impersonator chose vegetarian food at a hospital instead of the normal meat diet the victim was known to prefer, police in southern India said Wednesday.
Family members of Sudhakar Reddy were surprised when “he” refused non-vegetarian food at a hospital in Hyderabad where he was admitted after an acid attack, local police official Kamleswar Shingvenar said.
The family complained to the police that he may be a different person, leading authorities to the alleged murderers, Shingvenar said.
Sudhakar’s wife, Swathi Reddy, and her lover Rajesh Ajakole, have now been accused of the murder in the town of Nagarkurnool in Telangana state.
According to police investigations, the lovers, Swati Reddy and Rajesh Ajakole, allegedly killed Swathi’s husband Sudhakar Reddy, on the night of November 26 and disposed of his body in a local forest.
In an attempt to stage an attack, they then poured acid on Rajesh Ajakole’s face.
Ajakole, his face swathed in bandages, posed as Sudhakar; while Swathi, a trained nurse, told her husband’s family their son had been attacked at their home by intruders and needed plastic surgery.
“Sudhakar” was admitted to a hospital in Hyderabad for treatment, police said, but the real Sudhakar’s family members were suspicious, as the impostor’s height and body structure seemed different.
When lover boy Rajesh Ajakole refused non-vegetarian food at the hospital, including mutton soup, Sudhakar’s family lodged a complaint with the police, as their late relation had apparently liked non-vegetarian food.
“Swathi is a trained nurse and she gave anaesthesia injection to Sudhakar (her husband) on November 27 afternoon.
“When he was unconscious, she and her lover, Rajesh, hit her husband Sudhakar on the head with an iron rod and bludgeoned him to death.
“They then went ahead to disfigure his face and dumped his body at Nawabpet forest after partially burning it,” Investigation Officer Srinivas Rao said.
Swathi smeared acid, mixed with petrol, on lover boy Rajesh’s face, disfiguring it completely, and raised an alarm that someone attacked her husband.
“She called up Sudhakar’s parents and told them that four persons entered their house and attacked Sudhakar. Although, they expressed their doubts that it did not appear to be their son, they agreed to take him to Apollo Hospital in Hyderabad
as Swathi insisted that he needed urgent plastic surgery.
“The next day, Sudhakar’s brother lodged a complaint with the police and we took up the investigation,’’ Rao added.
Swathi was arrested Sunday and Rajesh Reddy would be arrested once he is discharged from the hospital, Shingvenar said.