The victim’s nonagenarian mother, who was witness to the crime, names his first wife’s son as one of the three assailants

A retired assistant scientific officer of Nuclear Fuel Complex, Ramakrishna Rao, was murdered in his house at Keesara on the city outskirts even as his nonagenarian mother watched helplessly.

The murder, believed to have been committed two days ago, came to light only on Wednesday when their maid went to clean the house and grew suspicious noticing the unlocked grill door downstairs and the first floor door locked. She immediately alerted the police, who found Rao lying dead on a cot with his mother sitting beside him silently.

Ninety-five-year-old Pushpaleela, who couldn’t walk and speaking with much difficulty, told the police that three men came to their house two days ago and had beaten Rao to death. She also maintained that among the three attackers was the son of Rao’s first wife Suman.

“The old woman was apparently without food since Rao was killed on Monday night. She is too weak to talk let alone clearly narrate what had happened,” Alwal ACP G. Ganesh Reddy said. There were bruises on the victim’s legs, knees and feet with blood stains spattered around. Marks near the neck indicated that he was strangulated.

Failed marriages

Rao’s first wife, hailing from Ongole, reportedly deserted him 15 years ago. He married twice afterwards, but they too left him. After retirement, he was living on the first floor of his independent house at Dammaiguda near A.S. Rao Nagar in Keesara. Two portions on the ground floor were vacant.

Rao and his mother rarely used to come down, with the neighbours too testifying that they were not spotted frequently. Visitors were few, apart from a maid, who came every morning.

The iron grill gate leading to the first floor was usually locked. Rao would send a string with the key tied to it when the maid shouted from downstairs or pressed the buzzer. The procedure was followed when she left too.

The maid was puzzled to find the grill unlocked on Tuesday, but when she went upstairs and noticed the main door on the first floor locked, she left believing they had gone out. She returned on Wednesday morning and grew suspicious as the grill remained unlocked. Hunt is on for Suman, about whom police know little except what the old woman had said.

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