VISAKHAPATNAM: A year after a woman had gone missing, police solved the case and arrested her husband and his lover, at Sampingiputtu under Annavaram police station in Alluri Sitarama Raju district.
Police said Mandalam Gopal, along with Korapu Lakshmi, killed Kantamma and buried the body to hush up the crime.
Kantamma was an arranged marriage with Gopal in 2021. Gopal had then been in a relationship with Lakshmi for years. On learning about his marriage, Lakshmi threatened him, saying that she would end her life and hold him responsible for her death.
Gopal sided with Lakshmi and hatched a plan to murder Kantamma on Vinayaka Chavithi (September 10, 2021). As per their plan, Lakshmi went to meet Kantamma to allay her fears regarding her relationship with Gopal. Later, Lakshmi asked Kantamma to accompany her to her house, where Gopal and Lakshmi allegedly hacked Kantamma to death with an axe. They then buried the body near Lakshmi’s residence.
Annavaram police registered a case after Kantamma’s mother approached them with a missing complaint. The village elders, too, tried to find Kantamma. Lakshmi and Gopal gave contradicting statements to them, before leaving for Alamuru, where they took up jobs at an aquaculture tank.
As police’s suspicions over the duo’s role in the missing of Kantamma grew, they enquired about them at Sampangiputtu and Chittuputtu villages. After a thorough investigation and collecting technical evidence, police arrested the accused.
A fresh case under IPC Sections 302 (punishment for murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of an offence committed, or giving false information) was registered.