CHENNAI/ VILLUPURAM: Three persons were arrested by the City police near Tirupati on Monday in connection with the kidnap and murd0er of 63 year-old-doctor Malliga Ravi. Call driver Karthik, his paramour Sathya and another person were handed over to Mailam police of Villupuram, where Malliga’s body was found at a remote spot in a village. According to police sources, prime accused Karthik, whose original name is Venkatesh Babu (41), is a native of Srivilliputtur in Virudhunagar district.
He had come to the city four years back and had been staying in Aminjikarai with his wife and two children. He started working as a driver and met Sathya, a domestic aide who also dealt in real estate.
Investigation revealed that Karthik had been using a fake driving licence for the past four years. Police, however, narrowed in on him using his cell phone records and with the help of his aides, who were picked up a couple of days ago, an official privy to the investigation said.
Karthik got acquainted with Malliga while working as a driver with a small-time travel company. The doctor had been using Karthik’s driving services for the past seven months.
Karthik introduced Malliga to Sathya and one Ganesh who posed as realtors and offered to help the doctor dispose of a disputed property at Mint.
The accused trio had been hatching the murder plot for the past three months. They lured her on the pretext of wanting to see the property. On the fateful day, Karthik was driving the car while Malliga was seated next to him.
According to the statement given by the trio, Karthik drove the car to a deserted spot. Around 6.30 pm, when they had reached near Sirukundram, Karthik staged a tyre puncture drama and stopped the car.
Sathya and Ganesh who were in the back seats of the car, strangulated the doctor using her dupatta. At nightfall, they dumped the body in the bushes on the Mailam-Chendur road in Villupuram and fled with 35 sovereigns of jewellery that belonged to Malliga. The next day Karthik and Ganesh sought the help of Athilakshmi, a relative of Sathya, to pawn 5 sovereigns of gold jewels for `65,000. The jewellery has been recovered from the accused, police said. After spending two days in the city, they were nabbed when they tried to flee to Andhra Pradesh. Further investigations are on.