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Karnataka BJP MLA's wife found dead in Delhi
Vicky Nanjappa

Photograph: KPN Photo
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June 15, 2008 20:53 IST
Last Updated: June 15, 2008 22:14 IST

Karnataka BJP legislator Raghupathi Bhat's wife Padmapriya, 32, was found dead in an apartment New Delhi on Sunday. The wife of the MLA from Udupi had been missing since June 10.

According to the police, her body was found hanging in room number 29 of Kshama Apartments in Dwarka Sector-6.

On the day she went missing, Padmapriya was supposed to go to her parents house in Mulki, a town near Udupi. She had called her parents, informing them that she would reach there by afternoon. She never turned up. However, no police complaint was lodged till Friday.

Once the missing person complaint was lodged by Bhat, police found her car was found abandoned near a temple near Kunjalgiri, near Udupi. In the car police found bloodstains, Rs 8,000 in cash, broken bangles and a cell phone without a sim card.

A senior Karnataka police officer told that they will be sending a team to New Delhi to ascertain whether it was a case of murder or suicide.

Reports had earlier suggested that she may have left the house due to strained relations with her husband. However, Bhat denied these and asserted that his relations with his wife were fine.

"When I filed my election nomination form, my wife came with me and she also helped me during my campaign," he said.

Another angle that was being attached to Padmapriya going missing was the role of Naxalites. However, state Home Minister V S Acharya had rejected this theory stating that there was no Naxal presence in and around Udupi district.

Padmapriya's brother Rajshekhar, who is in New Delhi , suspects foul play behind her death even though he confirmed that her body had been found hanging.

He alleged that a contractor from Udupi may have driven her to take the extreme step.

The incident has sent shock waves across Karnataka and the state Women's Commission has initiated a suo motu case.
Nirmala Venkatesh, chairperson of the commission, said they were deeply hurt and would like to probe into the matter.

Meanwhile, Bhat is on his way to New Delhi along with Acharya to complete the formalities.

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