KARNATAKA

They were inseparable even in death

BIJAPUR, MARCH 3. Shivaleela Rayanagouda Patil and Rasulbi Abdul Gaffar Mulla were so close they died together.

They sent shockwaves across Bijapur on Saturday by jumping off the Gol Gumbaz, which brought them instant death.

According to members of the aggrieved family, the girls, who were studying in first year pre-university science course, were close friends since their childhood.

They resorted to the extreme step as the time had come for their separation as Shivaleela's father, Rayanagouda Patil, who is an employee with the Department of Education, has been transferred to Dharwad.

They had been in the same classes since primary school, and they used to move together — whether it was market, college or cinema. Mr. Patil's transfer order had shocked them. Their friendship was not ready to accept the new reality.

The two girls urged Mr. Patil to get his transfer order cancelled, as they were not ready to leave each other.

Instead, they bid permanent adieu.

However, the police have different version to say.

The girls embraced death out of fear that they would be punished by the parents after they were "caught'' with their lovers on the monument premises.

Even a complaint lodged by Shivaleela's brother, Dyamanagouda, with the Gol Gumbaz Police threw some light on it.

In the complaint, Dyamanagouda has said that his sister and her friend, Rasulbi, left their houses at 8 a.m. on that day saying that they were going to college but did not return even after the scheduled time.

He came to Gol Gumbaz in search of them and saw them there. After taking his sister to task, he went to a telephone booth outside the Gol Gumbaz compound to inform his parents.

Meanwhile, Shivaleela and Rasulbi climbed up the Gol Gumbaz again and jumped off it, the complaint said.

The Additional Superintendent of Police, Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar, told The Hindu here on Wednesday that preliminary investigation revealed that the girls were sighted along with their lovers, said to be Javed and Shamir, respectively, who happened to be brothers.

Though they were close friends, this seemed to be reason for their act, he added.

The information given by the police even before the case was registered, led to the mistaken identity of Rasulbi in the media, which, quoting police sources, reported that Shivaleela and Rasulbi were lovers.