CHENNAI: A city based woman oncologist and anti-tobacco crusader, Dr. Rohini Premkumari (67) was murdered at her house in Gandhi Irwin road, a stone's throw from Egmore railway station.
She was found on Sunday morning by her octogenarian mother and a relative in the garden area around her palatial residence with her legs and hands bound. Police said she was tied up and attacked with a heavy object which killed her. Police asserted that no valuables were stolen from the house or from the victim.
A widow, Rohini of Kottayam, Kerala shared the residence built by her pilot father with her mother, Subadhra Nair (87) who lived on the ground floor. Rohini lived on the first floor. Her daughter, Reshmi Nanditha (29), a software professional lives elsewhere in the city. She was on a vacation and had been alerted, police said.
Around 11.30 am on Sunday, Subadhra had called up a relative, Parasuraman after Rohini didn’t turn up to serve her breakfast, like she did usually. “When Parasuraman reached the house, he found the doctor lying unconscious in the garden after which the police were alerted,” according to police.
Sniffer dogs and forensic teams reached the scene and samples of footsteps were taken from the garden area around the house. Preliminary probe have led the police to postulate that “There seems to be a property dispute, but that has been there for more than a decade now.” Meanwhile, suspicions are also strong on workers who had worked on installing hollow blocks in the garden area about a week ago. “We are enquiring if there are any financial disputes to be settled,” police added.
According to police, there were signs of struggle on the lawn. "The lights were turned on well into the day. We suspect the murder to have happened on Saturday night when the doctor was taking a walk on her lawn," police said. Blood-stained shorts were picked up from the scene, police said.
The body was moved to Government General Hospital for autopsy. Egmore Police have registered a case of murder and are probing.
Rohini was working as a consultant oncologist at a private hospital on Spur Tank Road, Chetpet. She was earlier associated with Cancer Institute, Adyar and is credited with establishing the first Tobacco Cessation center in the city.