More than 50 senior citizens have been murdered in Bangalore in the last decade

The murder of 81-year-old Prema Naidu at her RPC Layout residence on Monday has brought to the fore two important issues — the safety of senior citizens and the inordinate delay in solving such murders of the past.

In the past decade, more than 50 senior citizens have been murdered in Bangalore and many of them were home-alone women like Ms. Naidu. The killing elderly people started towards the end of 2001 when Ramakrishnan of Ulsoor, Manjula of Basavanagudi, Jayalakshamma of Chamarajpet and Siddaiah, a retired KAS officer of MICO Layout, were murdered in a quick succession in October-November 2001. In fact, 19 senior citizens were murdered in 2004 alone. Of them, only eight cases have been detected so far.

In some incidents, the police established that the elderly people were killed for gain. But, they have not been able to ascertain the motive behind the killing in at least 20 of the more than 50 cases reported in the last decade.

In February 2002, the police arrested five members of the notorious Dandupalya gang for the murders that took place in October-November 2001. Despite the arrest, the killing of senior citizens continued and the police suspected that some absconding members of the gang for the killings. Though the police subsequently ruled out the Dandupalya gang’s involvement in the murders, they are yet to trace the culprits.

Police sources said that information provided by the victims’ family was crucial in cracking a murder. Unfortunately, in some of the cases, investigation was hampered mainly due to lack of cooperation from the victims' kin.

According to the sources, the police are yet to trace the killers of elderly women, Delucie Vaz, Nandini Rao, Sarai Bai, Thangammal, Subbarathnamma and Jayadevamma, who were stabbed to death in their houses in St. Mark’s Road, Ulsoor, Girinagar and K.R. Puram respectively during 2002-06.

Investigations have reached dead end in regard to the murders of H. Rajagopalachar (80), a retired teacher who was stabbed at his house in Basaveshwaranagar police station limits in February 2002, and Keshava Prabhu (78), a retired employee of the Police Department who was strangled at his house in Nandini Layout in March 2002.

Apart from these cases, the twin murders of Meena Rasquinha (75) and her maid Prema Mary (65) in Ashoknagar (May 2001), Shankaraiah (90) and his daughter-in-law Padmaja in Vijayanagar (August 2001), and Nirmala (65) and her daughter Rajeshwari in Madivala (August 2002) have also remained unsolved.

The police have closed the cases and filed ‘C’ reports in the courts in regard to these double murders. Usually, they file the ‘C’ report and close the case when the culprits are not traced for long.

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