Perfect Murder: Five of India’s ‘Unsolved Murder Mysteries’

Sep 29, 2016

A perfect murder is a crime situation, where the killer leaves absolutely no clues behind. The Perfect Murder, in other words is an organized, planned and a well orchestrated form of murder. Here, the assassin is cold blooded, knows his victims weakness, holds strong mettle, keeps his motives secret, constructs a Pre-murder crime scene and carefully studies and rehearses his act considering the future consequences. Throughout history of human civilization, there have been infinite number of cases pertaining to “Unsolved murder mysteries”, those crimes that have been carried out utmost finesse. While, the usually volatile regions of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi are in these days coping with the ‘Alleged’ brutal murder of Hotelier and businessman Bhaskar Shetty, reportedly carried out by his own wife, his only son and the Wife’s Friend; this is time to scan and review some of the “Perfect murders” in Indian history.

1.Syed Modi shooting: Syed Modi, was a star Indian badminton player and had won numerous national and International championships in the eighties. During his hey days, he fell in love with a fellow badminton player Ameeta, and married her. But, soon tensions between the two emerged, due to Modi’s busy and successful sporting career and largely due to his wife Ameeta’s relationship with Uttar Pradesh congress politician Sanjay Singh. His personal rift also affected his game, and thus began his slide. On July 28th, 1988 while driving out of a practice session, Modi was gunned down and killed by unknown assailants. A nation had lost a sporting gem. The case was handed over to the CBI, and in its chargesheet it named Modi’s wife and her lover Sanjay singh as the prime accused. But, the Congress government’s political gimmicks,was effectively able to submerge and dissolve the case in few weeks. A couple of years later, Ameeta married Sanjay Singh, and the chargesheet went up in flames. In 2009,twenty one years later sessions court shut the case claiming ‘No evidence’.

2.Lal Bahudur Shastri sudden demise: On Jan 11th, 1966 when the news spread that Prime Minister Lal Bahudur Shastri had suddenly died of a Cardiac arrest in his sleep at Tashkent, no sane minded soul in the country in those days believed the story. Several conspiracies spread rapidly through underground newspapers and word of mouth. Indira Gandhi’s power behind the Congress party had surged and her yearning for the highest office seat had reached glass-full. There was no independent non government investigation undertaken, the media (All India Radio & and print media) was totally government controlled and the entire country’s conscious was wiped out through a “Hogwash”.

3.Arushi Talwar murder: In the year 2008, the Noida double murder involving the murder of a 14 year girl Arushi Talwar and Hemraj the domestic worker, her family had employed sent ripples across the country. Arushi’s body was found lying on her bedroom, she was stabbed several times and mercilessly killed. The case got greater attention, after the missing house-maid Hemraj’s body was discovered a day later at the terrace.The first, suspect was her own father Rajesh Talwar, but he was released soon, and in a flip-flop the family driver and a worker were arrested. In November 2013, the parents Rajesh and Nupur Talwar were convicted and sentenced for life imprisonment by the Allahabad high court. There were direct allegations on them of murder and tampering and destroying the evidence. Several experts and investigators have concluded the case being a “Honour killing” or a “Crime of Passion” due to the closeness between Arushi and Hemraj. Nevertheless, the Talwars influential status and their treachery was enough to challenge the court's order and win the support of the mainstream media. Eight years on, puzzle continues, but the culprit lives in impunity.

4. Tandoor murder Case: A young congress worker Naina Sahni became a victim of a horrifying "Tandoor murder case", in July 1995; for many faint hearted in the country, the murder episode sent shivers down the spine. Naina Sahni was killed by her husband, and then had the body chopped up and put in a tandoor (clay oven) at a Delhi restaurant, to dispose of the evidence. Her husband, Congress MLA Sushil Sharma, was convicted for the murder 18 years later, after massive lobbying through political feudalism. According to investigation, Sharma had killed his wife after finding her talking to her close friend Matloob Karim on the phone, while drinking alcohol. Naina and Matloob were classmates and close friends, they worked for the party together. Although, in October,2013 the supreme court finally managed to convict Sharma and limit his punishment to life imprisonment, the crime showcased hypocrisy of Indian politicians, their sadistic mind and exposed the loose and corrupt system, that shields them.

5. Sunanda Pushkar murder: Sunanda Pushkar was the wife of Indian politician and former United Nations secretary General Shahshi Tharoor. On January, 2015 sunanda was found dead at Leela Palace hotel in New Delhi. The early investigation claimed it as death due to overdose and possibly a suicide. After postmortem, the All India Medical Council, Delhi confirmed that there were marks in her body, and later it also revealed that she was poisoned to death. An AIIMs doctor stated that he was pressurized not to reveal the reports of her death as not natural. The comedian politician, Dr. Subramanyam Swamy, in a controversial remark directly accused Shahsi Tharoor as one behind the cover up. Sunanda, was a socialite, did drugs and was heavily involved in cricket betting. Just days prior to her demise, she was involved in a ugly rift on twitter, with a pakistani female journalist over her affair with her husband Shashi Tharoor. There have been several theories surrounding the murder of Sunanda, yet, two years on, the investigation still creeps on a slow pace, a pace that may eventually end up in a smoke decades later.

In most of the cases, the motive is surprisingly modest, but the reaction is horrifying. The karavali region, has been witness to some of the terrible murders through years, among them, one can hesitantly remember 1997’s Military Ashraf case, where a ex-military man Ashraf stabbed a 17 year old girl victim thirty five times. Days following this appalling chapter, fear and tensions rose across the regions. Although, the motives in these types of crimes remains vague and scant, one thing is clear in the minds of the culprit, there is a great faith in the contaminated system and the incredible confidence that they would get away from their crimes at any cost and circumstances.

Chris D'Souza Archives:


by Chris Emmanuel Dsouza
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Comment on this article

  • Albert, m

    Sat, Oct 08 2016

    How come all mysterious murders involved Congress party politicians?

  • Jude , Mangalore

    Fri, Oct 07 2016

    Isn't it the small details that make up the big picture? It's nice to read something that is factually correct instead of having to Google things just to cross-check. Well, we all have our own ideas. Wouldn't hurt to hold ourselves to a higher standard.
    Also, do read the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, Section 2(c)(i).

  • J Pereira, USA

    Fri, Oct 07 2016

    It's irrelevant whether Shashi tharoor held what post to this article and this reader. If I was interested in Shashi Tharoor's credential and biodata I'd google him and get the answer for it. So bottom line I don't care about any of the suspected murderer's credentials in the above mentioned article. It's what they have done and how crappy our judicial and crime branch system is that should grab your attention.


    Thu, Oct 06 2016

    Author might have cherry picked few of the classical examples of unresolved murder cases which are popular in the world. It is not possible to write on all such cases in this forum as there will be hundreds of such murders if you dig out...

  • Jude , Mangalore

    Wed, Oct 05 2016

    With regard to the Sunanda Pushkar murder case, Shashi Tharoor never held the post of the Secretary General of the UN.
    It is a request from a reader of this article that the author provide correct facts when writing in the public domain.

  • Pratap Rao, Bangalore

    Wed, Oct 05 2016

    You have left out the murder case of Fr. K. J. Thomas, the Rector of St. Peter's Pontifical Seminary, Bangalore. It is high profiled and continues to be so.

  • Alwyn, Mangalore

    Tue, Oct 04 2016

    Very Good Exclusive. Murder is a crime and crime is an action or activity that, although not illegal, is considered to be evil, shameful, or wrong.
    Murder is the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.
    It is easy if you have money, good ideas, knowledge of law, loop holes of the law& order personals. It is to watch American channel which publish the real stories of murders and crimes. Even there they are feeling difficulties to find out the culprit but they are NOT failed. In India Money and influence play a big role.

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Tue, Oct 04 2016

    You forgot Vinayak Baliga, Bhaskar Shetty & Soujanya Gowda ...

  • Roger , Manipal

    Mon, Oct 03 2016

    This story only of high profile cases. Its limitless.
    Recently few murders of innocent people which should not have happened.
    1.Elderly konkani husband & wife couple near saligrama.
    2. One shetty elderly lady missing . Her son came from US & worked hard to find her from Kundapur.
    3. RTI Vinayak Baliga Murder case.
    4. Bhaskar Shetty murder case.
    5 Praveen poojari murder case.
    These all recent few cases of our place. You can claim perfect Murder or failure of police dept or failure of Judicial system.


    Sun, Oct 02 2016

    Great article Chris. These are the questions and many more such, where V don't have any answers. It is like a "black box", truth is hidden and culprit get's shelter under influence.

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