CHENNAI: A month after a young woman's headless body was found by the roadside at Ramapuram, the Chennai police have taken in for questioning her husband and a woman said to be his paramour.
The deceased woman has been identified as a junior film artiste named, Sasi Rekha, 36, a resident of Madipakkam.
Police sources said the interrogation of the man, Ramesh Shankar (34), led to the recovery of the missing head from a canal at Kolapakkam, kilometres away from the spot where the torso was found.
Police are also questioning Lakhiya (22), an aspiring actress hailing from Kerala, who the police believe is involved in the murder.
A few months ago, Sasi Rekha had petitioned the police to take action against Ramesh Shankar as he had deserted her and was living with another woman. Her complaint was reported in several newspapers.
Sasi Rekha was living with her parents and an eight-year-old son from her first marriage. She had acted in a yet-to-be released film and was looking for more opportunities in the film industry.
Police say Sasi Rekha married Ramesh Shanker barely seven months ago, in August 2015. Ramesh, a widower and a struggling businessman, had allegedly been involved in several cheating cases earlier.
In 2011, Shanker's previous wife and his parents committed suicide in Anakaputhur owing to his financial troubles, post which he moved in with his uncle in Vadapalani and began a business, promising movie roles to aspiring film artistes. It was this that brought Sasi Rekha into contact with him.
The two tied the knot after a few months of courtiship.
The relationship turned sour, however, and Sasi Rekha registered police complaints against Ramesh Shanker, alleging that his marriage to her was his seventh and that he had cheated several other women in the past.
Shanker walked out on Sasi Rekha and met Lakhiya, another aspiring actress from Kerala. The two started living together in a house located in Madhanandhapuram, near Kundrathur.
"It was one of the complaints that she lodged with the police that helped us realise that she had gone missing. When we matched the details of the torso found on January 5, we found the victim was her," said a police source.
Police suspect that it was Ramesh and Lakhiya who murdered Sasi Rekha.
"It appears Ramesh attacked and killed her during a quarrel and they later decided to dispose of the body by decapitating it to make identification difficult," said a police officer.