Police file charge sheet in Israeli yoga student murder case

Friends and family of Tamara Farha Abraham, who was allegedly murdered by her boyfriend Lokesh Chandra Das (31), are stepping up pressure to expedite the trial in the case that hit international headlines in May 2011.

The 28-year-old from Jerusalem, who held Swiss and Israeli passports, was murdered and stuffed into a freezer in Lokesh's upmarket apartment in Gubbalalu village in Ramanagaram district last year.

Wife clueless

After she was battered and strangled to death on April 15, her body lay in the freezer in the apartment till Lokesh confessed to the murder on May 4 and surrendered to the police.

All the while, he was living with his wife Jyothi Vaidyanathan and their child in the flat, his wife apparently clueless about the crime till he told her what he had done.

Even as the hearing is yet to commence, the Ramanagaram police say Tamara's friends and family in Jerusalem have asked for the trial to be speeded up. “The Israeli Consulate contacted us asking about the progress of the case. We told them about the judicial process in our country,” a senior official in the Ramanagaram SP's office told The Hindu.

The charge sheet

The police charge sheet mentions Jyothi as the complainant and prime witness. Apart from her statement, it contains those of Lokesh's mother-in-law Bhuvaneshwari, brother-in-law Prabhakar, mother Amudani, brother Suchit Das and a neighbour.

Tamara, whose mother lives in Israel and father in Sweden, met engineer-turned yoga trainer Lokesh at Rishikesh while learning Dhyanakriya yoga in September 2007. Lokesh, who was already married, began an affair with her. The two travelled together, going to Thailand and Israel. As the novelty wore off, he started to avoid her. She came looking for him in Bangalore. Once in the city, Lokesh took her home on the pretext of employing her to help his wife who had just had their baby.

Tensions at home

This did not go down very well with Tamara and soon tension developed between the two, ending in a row between the women. Some time later, an incensed Lokesh allegedly hit Tamara on her head with a PVC pipe and strangled her, apparently unbeknownst to Jyothi. He then bought a freezer to stuff the body in. He had planned to chop it up into pieces and dispose of it but could not do so.

CCTV footage

The police have submitted footage from CCTV cameras installed at the supermarket on Kanakapura Road from where he had purchased the freezer.

“The footage and his relatives' statements are crucial evidence. The police have also identified the tempo driver who shifted the freezer to Lokesh's house,” the police officer said.

Keywords: speedy trialmurder