MSNBC News | 17/07/2010
When Girish, an engineer with Intel, got engaged to Shubha seven years ago, he was on cloud nine. After a colourful and traditional engagement to his neighbour of 15 years in Bangalore, he began a long courtship. One evening, a happy Girish took out Shubha for a lavish dinner not knowing that it was his last supper. Soon after the dinner, a chirpy Shubha wanted to see planes take off and land at the old HAL airport. The planes used to come low over the ring road before touching down on the runway. Girish took his would-be to the spot where the planes could be almost at ‘touching’ height. On seeing a few planes, Shubha was excited and Girish had his eyes glued on the girl who would have been his wife in a few days. Then came a thud, something hit Girish so hard that he fell unconscious and bleeding. A ‘terrified’ Shubha yelled, screamed and went into an orchestrated hysteria. Girish was shifted to hospital by passers-by where he breathed his last. A ‘depressed and shaken-up’ Shubha filed a police complaint stating that unknown assailant had hit Girish on the head and fled.
The murder that took place on the night of December 3, 2003 near Air View, Domlur-Kormangala Ring Road hit the headlines with various theories. But the police smelt something fishy. Why did the assailants not touch Shubha though she was wearing ornaments? Why was Girish’s wallet not taken? What then was the motive? The first thing that the investigation team did was to call for the cell phone records of Shubha and Girish. What surprised the police was that Shubha had made a call soon after the dinner and before the murder to one number. The conversation lasted just a few minutes. Days after the crime, Shubha had exchanged SMSes and had conversed at length. Armed with this number, the police found out that the receiver of the call was Arun Verma, a classmate of Shubha. The police soon confronted Arun and wanted to find out what that small talk was all about. A terrified Arun soon came out with the truth.
Giving details of the plot, Special Public Prosecutor Venkat Rao said: “Arun Verma, the main accused, and Shubha were students of the same law college. He approached Dinesh, one of his relatives, who in turn took the help of another friend Venkatesh. There is ample evidence to prove that Shubha was behind the murder and is booked for conspiracy and killing.” This was the first time that cellphone records were used to crack a case. Investigators said Shubha, then a student of BMS College of Law, had been in love with Verma, her junior in college and two years younger to her. Her parents, who got to know of the affair, forced her into engagement with Girish, their neighbour for 15 years. Following the engagement, Shubha and Verma conspired to eliminate Girish. Dinakar helped his cousin to plot the murder, and even hired Venkatesh. They carried out their plan three days after Girish was engaged to Shubha.
Girish was a brilliant student. His death shook his father who died of shock and depression 2007. Based on the investigations, the police arrested Shubha, her lover Arun Verma and his cousin Dinakar alias Dinesh. The fourth convict, tempo driver Venkatesh, has been languishing in jail since 2004. According to the prosecution, Girish had parked his two-wheeler on the road, and the couple went to watch aircraft landing. Meanwhile, Verma and Venkatesh were watching the couple from the other side of the road. As Girish was watching the landings, Venkatesh sneaked in from behind, and hit him on the head with a shock observer. He then fled on Verma’s bike. The 17th Fast Track court in Bangalore on Wednesday sentenced Shubha, her boyfriend Arun Verma and two of his associates to life imprisonment. A fine of Rs 50,000 each was also levied on the four accused and the amount will be handed over to Girish’s family. Shubha was given two years extra jail term and Rs 20,000 fine for trying to destroy evidence. When Shubha came to the court, she looked unmoved and had a deadpan expression. Arun and Dinesh covered their faces and tried to flee from the media.