Staff Reporter

Murder could be due to personal animosity: police

Assailant inflicts a deep injury on Laxmi’s neck before fleeing

Laxmi runs to neighbour’s house and collapses at their door

HYDERABAD: A 54-year-old woman bled to death even as she rushed to her neighbour’s house seeking help after a stranger barged into her house and attacked her with a knife at Kukatpally during daytime on Thursday.

Laxmi was working on her computer on the second floor of her house at Vasanthnagar at around 2.30 p.m. She was apparently engrossed in her work when the killer lunged at her with the knife. Strangely, the assailant did not take away any valuables.

“There appeared to be a scuffle and the assailant inflicted a deep injury on her neck before fleeing,” Kukatpally Inspector, V. Surender Reddy, said. Laxmi, clad in salwar-kurta, wrapped the chunni around her neck to stop bleeding and rushed to her neighbours.

Though her old in-laws live on the ground floor, she rushed to neighbour Raghava Reddy’s house. “Struggling for breath, she opened our gate and came up to the portico. I realised that something terrible must have happened on seeing blood stains on her clothes,” Mr. Reddy told the police. Unable to speak, she made gestures conveying that someone had attacked her.

Before the panicky lecturer could collect the car keys, Laxmi collapsed at his door step. She was rushed to a hospital but doctors declared her dead.

Act of revenge

Laxmi, police said, is the wife of Sheshagiri Rao, a vice-president of Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories. She was working as a lecturer till a few years ago and was currently working as a translator from home. Both Laxmi and Rao hold doctorates in different subjects. Rao maintained that he had no enemies. The investigators believe the killer either knew the victim’s family or watched her movements closely earlier and that the murder could be a consequence of personal animosity.

The couple’s only son works in Mumbai. Though Rao and Laxmi live on the first floor, she uses the second floor portion as a meditation hall and works from there.

The killer knew that she would be on the second floor, left his pair of slippers outside the door and directly attacked her after entering inside, the police suspect. All the ornaments were intact on the victim’s body suggesting that the killer did not target her for cash or jewellery.