Vadapalani temple priest held for wife’s murder

Police say couple had frequent quarrels over inability to have child

April 10, 2018 12:51 am | Updated 02:05 pm IST - CHENNAI

The police said Prabhu murdered his wife Gnanapriya after a domestic quarrel.

The police said Prabhu murdered his wife Gnanapriya after a domestic quarrel.

The city police have arrested Prabhu, the temple priest in Vadapalani, charging him with the murder of his wife. His story was that she had been assaulted by robbers who then beat him up and left him trussed. The police said he had murdered her after a domestic quarrel.

Joint Commissioner of Police C. Mageshwari said the couple had frequent quarrels over their inability to have a child. Prabhu had been trying to pacify her, but she kept insulting him, the JCP added. On the day of the murder, after a series of such insults, he drew out a hammer and hit her on the head.

On Thursday morning, P. Gnanapriya, 23, was found lying dead in a pool of blood, with her hands tied, at her home in South Sivan Koil Street, Vadapalani. Her husband Balaganeshan alias Prabhu, 35, the priest of a Sivan temple, lay unconscious in a common toilet, his hands and legs tied.

Prabhu, who regained consciousness that evening, told the police that robbers had taken away his wife’s jewellery after assaulting her.

The police found it difficult to make any headway in in the case since the CCTV footage showed that none had entered the house. Prabhu had repeatedly enquired about his wife, and the police told him she was in hospital. His reaction was one of incredulity: “Is she alive?” That gave the police a clue, said Ms. Mageshwari.

Sought help

During interrogation, Manoj Kumar, who was studying with him in the veda patasala, told the police Prabhu had planned to kill his wife and sought his help. The police arrested Prabhu and grilled him. He then confessed that he had planned to kill her, irritated over her accusing him of impotence.

On Wednesday night, he killed his wife and set up a scene of robbery. The house looked ransacked. Prabhu asked Manoj to take away the jewellery, weighing 15 sovereigns.

Manoj tied Prabhu up, dumped him in the toilet and fled, said police.

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