Even as the police are trying to find more leads into the death of Padmapriya, wife of Udupi MLA Raghupathy Bhat, family members suspect foul play behind the incident.
Family members, who did not want to be named, told rediff.com that they see the hand of Bhat's friend Atul Rao behind this incident.
They said the husband and wife shared a cordial relationship and also added that she was a homemaker and her husband was very proud of her.
The family also added that Bhat used to take her on official trips at his own expense so that the two could spend time together.
The family, however, expressed concern over the manner in which the matter was being reported. We belong to a very respectable family and the depiction of the incident in the media has upset all of us, the family members said.
Padmapriya, whose body is in New Delhi, will be flown into Mangalore and later taken to Udupi where her last rites will be conducted.
Even as the needle of suspicion is being pointed at Atul, his family denied any such involvement. Atul's wife Meera denied any role of her husband. His mother Usha too said that her son was not capable of hurting anyone.
Both the mother and wife say Atul had participated actively to trace Padmapriya when he learnt that she had gone missing.
Atul and Raghupathy Bhat were classmates. Their relationship grew even after their schooling days and over the years Atul had become a close confidant to the Bhat family.
Atul, an interior decortator by profession, was working as a storekeeper in the engineering wing of the Zilla Parishath.
Atul's close ties with the family were well known. Not only did he undertake the interior decoration at Bhat's residence, he also played an active role in the election campaign recently at Udupi, which Bhat ultimately won.