A senior citizen allegedly beat his wife to death before hanging himself at their home in Srikanteshwara Nagara in Mahalakshmi Layout on Tuesday.

Nanjappa (61) and Sashikala (55), originally from Nelamangala, are survived by their three children — Dhanalakshmi, Devika, both married, and Manjunath who lived with his wife and son along with his parents.

Police said the couple had fought Tuesday morning after their son left for work. Nanjappa later told his daughter-in-law to go to her parents’ house along with her son. He then called his daughter Devika and asked her to come home in the afternoon to collect some valuables that he had kept for her.

Devika told reporters that she asked him why he was talking about the valuables, but her father did not respond: “He said that this is the last time we would be speaking as he would not receive calls later on,” she said. An uneasy Devika, who tried calling her parents again in vain, hurried from her workplace to her parents’ house. She was in for a shock when she saw their bodies.

Police said Nanjappa is suspected to have beaten his wife to death with a wooden stave from the kitchen. They said Sashikala had suffered grievous head injuries, indicating that she was perhaps pushed against the kitchen wall with great force. Family members said that the couple, married for at least 30 years, squabbled frequently, but there was nothing to indicate the violence that marked their demise.

Nanjappa had retired as a technician from ITI and was later employed in a private company, and Sashikala was running a successful chit fund. Some family members said the war of attrition between them could have been because Sashikala was earning more than him.

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