Nandan Gowda, the fiancé of private bank employee Ramya, who was found murdered on Wednesday, wanted to call off the wedding a day before tying the knot.

According to his confession before the Yeshwanthpur police, Nandan said he had been introduced to Ramya exactly a year ago on her birthday May 21 through a common friend. The acquaintance soon turned into friendship, then relationship.

Nandan alleged that Ramya insisted on marriage and when he demurred, threatened to lodge a complaint against him and go before the media.

Last-ditch effort

After reluctantly agreeing to the May 22 wedding, he made a last-ditch effort to convince Ramya to call off the ceremony, scheduled to take place at the ISKCON Temple. When that also failed, Nandan, accompanied by his friend Sunil, called her on the pretext of giving her a birthday treat on Tuesday. Both waited for her at the J.P. Park near Mathikere where they used to regularly hang out.

Police said the men took her to Malleswaram in Nandan’s car where he tried to convince her for one last time. When she did not agree, he took her to a juice shop and offered her a drink laced with sedatives.

Call to parents

En route, a trusting Ramya called her parents, who were worried about her absence, to tell them she would be returning in a while. “After she ended the call, Nandan and Sunil strangled her with a cable and smashed her face with a stone to conceal her identity,” police said.

Nandan reportedly told the police he had developed cold feet thinking about his parents’ opposition to the wedding. Ironically, the parents, who had opposed the marriage, had grudgingly agreed.

Ramya’s parents said they had not wanted her to leave the house on the wedding eve. “We had advised her not to go out as it is customary for the bride to restrict her movements. But she convinced us that she would return soon after showing the [wedding] ring to Nandan,” Ramya’s mother Kalavathi told reporters.

Police said Nandan offered Rs.15,000 to Sunil to help dispose of the body. But the plot unravelled when the police, who suspected their involvement, analysed Nandan’s call details and tower location.

Even as the two are in police custody, Ramya’s last rites were performed at the Harischandra Ghat.

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