On Friday, 14 April, R Navya celebrated her birthday with her friend TD Prashanth. It was an intimate, elaborate event held at her small apartment near Laggere, Bengaluru. Prashanth had bought her multi-coloured balloons and a cake. The living room was decorated to fit the party mood.
According to Rajagopal Nagar Police, Bengaluru, soon after she cut the cake, Prashanth allegedly slit Navya's throat, bleeding her to death.
A thorough investigation covering the events that led to the young woman's death is currently underway, especially because Navya used to work at the Security Department of Bengaluru Police. What the police have found so far outlines what could either be a diabolically elaborate plan hatched to punish suspected adultery or a "crime of passion," committed on the spur of the moment.
The Fateful Birthday Celebration
According to the police, Navya and Prashanth were in a relationship for the past six years. Both hailed from Kanakapura, located about 30 kilometers from Bengaluru, and were related.
Navya's birthday fell on 11 April, but she did not celebrate on the same day as she had some undisclosed personal engagements. Prashanth, meanwhile, convinced Navya to let him host a party for her at her home.
The bash was held on 14 April, the day on which Navya was killed.
"During the birthday celebration Navya received a few phone calls and text messages. When Prashanth asked her who she was in touch with, she refused to share the details. She refused to show him her phone. This lead to a heated argument between the two."DCP North D Devaraja told The Quint
Prashanth was jealous and suspected Navya of adultery, the police have concluded based on his confession. The day of the murder was not the only time they quarreled over Navya's phone conversations.
A Cold Complaint
Could the murder have been prevented?
According to Rajagopal Nagar Police, Navya had approached Koramangala Police accusing Prashanth of "troubling" her. Their relationship had soured because he turned unabashedly possessive, she had alleged. The police, however, "settled" the case "amicably" as both Navya and Prashanth promised to keep a distance from each other.
"She later reached out to Prashanth and they spoke about marriage. They were planning a future together, he has claimed in his confession," Devaraja told The Quint.
Prashanth, however, keep a watch on Navya's phone calls. On 14 April, when he asked Navya for her phone, she vehemently denied the existence of any affair. "He was not convinced and slit her throat," Devaraja said.
After Navya bled to death around 2.30 pm, Prashanth sat at her apartment till 9.30 pm – he later left to turn himself over at Rajagopal Nagar Police Station. When the police asked for the murder weapon, Prashanth led them to Navya's home where the body was left washed, from the neck up. "There were blood stains everywhere except for her neck," a police officer told The Quint.
The murder investigation, however, is not an open and shut case.
Was the Murder Planned?
As the police concluded their preliminary investigation, they have not ascertained whether the murder was planned or committed in the heat of the moment.
The police are still ascertaining whether Prashanth had carried a knife with him. "If he did carry a knife with him, it will prove that the murder was premeditated. If he had picked up a knife from the house, we cannot conclusively prove that the murder was planned," a senior police officer said.
Whether premeditated or not, the murder seems to have been done in "a fit of rage," the police said.
Navya had just started a new life after he father, a police constable, passed away recently. She was offered a clerk's job, on "compassionate grounds" as her father had died while he was working as a policeman. "What has happened is very unfortunate," Devaraja said. The accused, Prashanth, will be produced for remand hearing before a local court on 15 April.
(With inputs from Pratiba Raman)