M A I N   N E W S

Woman serial killer in police net
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, December 31
Five mysterious killings of middle-aged women near temples on the outskirts of the city in the past two months and another murder have been solved with the arrest of a 45-year-old woman serial killer, who took to crime after having failed in a chit-fund business.

The woman, Mallika, had never been suspected to be a criminal by the police because of her sex and religious nature.

Mallika would befriend women devotees frequenting temples and would promise them a remedy for their ills. The “remedies” were taken up almost immediately by her victims, three of whom were widows, because she only advised “poojas” in various temples located on the outskirts of the city. Most temples are close to Doddabalapur town, about 30 km from here.

The unsuspecting women would mostly be taken to hotels on the night preceding the special “pooja”. During the puja, Mallika would give them water laced with cyanide and strangle them to death. A woman was poisoned at her residence itself during a “pooja” performed in the absence of her husband and other members of the family.

Bangalore police commissioner N. Achuta Rao said here today that Mallika was arrested when a goldsmith got suspicious of her activities when she was trying to sell him jewellery stolen from women of the Kalasipalya area. Gold ornaments and mobile phones of her victims had been recovered from her. The police commissioner said the latest killing had been of one Nagaveni on December 18, also near a temple at Doddaballapur. The other killings had been carried out at Sathnur, Karatagere and Maddur.

According to the police, Mallika has husband and two daughters and a son. She was, however, living separately from her family after losing money in a chit-fund business started by her in 1998. She took to crime in 1999, but it was only in the past two months that she went on a virtual killing spree.

The police say Mallika committed all murders single handedly. “We are yet to trace any accomplice of the killer woman”, the police commissioner said, adding that the woman was being interrogated to ascertain whether she was behind more crimes as well.



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