Investigation revealed that the deceased woman Gokilavani, 20, was in a relationship with the accused Murali Krishna, 25, and he claimed to have secretly married her around three years ago.
A day after the partially burnt body of a woman was found in a reserve forest area in Tamil Nadu’s Salem district on Saturday morning, a man – who claimed to have secretly married the woman – surrendered before the police and confessed to her murder. He was arrested and sent to Salem prison.
The deceased was identified as K Gokilavani, 20, of Jalakandapuram who was pursuing BPharm at a private college in Salem. The accused Murali Krishna, 25, is a resident of Electronic City in Bengaluru who worked as a software tester at a private company.
According to Inspector Gnanasekar S of Theevattipatti police station, on receiving information that a body was spotted near the area, officers rushed to the spot and sent the body to Salem Government Hospital for post-mortem. A case was registered and a special team was formed to investigate the incident.
During the course of inquiry, the police learnt that Gokilavani was in a relationship with Murali Krishna. According to the police, the families of the accused and deceased have known each other for a long time. About three years ago, Krishna married Gokilavani in secret, as per his claim. The families were not informed as they were opposed to the relationship. After the wedding, the two continued to live with their respective families and met in Salem whenever possible.
A while ago, Krishna came across some WhatsApp conversations and calls on Gokilavani’s phone and suspected that she was unfaithful to him. They had several arguments over the issue and briefly stopped communicating, the police said.
On Saturday morning, Krishna convinced Gokilavani to meet him to sort out the differences. The duo had breakfast and went to the reserve forest area behind Pulisaathu Muniyappan temple. During the conversation, a fresh argument broke out and in anger, Krishna attacked her with a screwdriver before stabbing her with a small knife he had hidden in his pocket, the police said. As the woman began bleeding, he threw a huge stone at her and later set her on fire using some petrol he had in a plastic bottle on his motorbike, investigators added.
On Sunday, Krishna surrendered before a village administrative officer and was handed over to the police. He was booked under section 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code.