The unifying power of Facebook brought them together. A year and a baby later, the social networking site was the trigger for a gruesome end to the tale. On January 19, Sushma and her baby boy were killed in cold blood by her Facebook friend-turned-husband S K Raju, just threree months after the couple started living together with their love child.
That evening, the Reliance warehouse employee who was living with Sushma and their three-month-old baby in a rented house in Madanayakanahalli, planned a bike trip to Hassan. After reaching Mysuru Road, he took a deviation inside Hejjala forest near Kumbalagodu, saying it was a shortcut to Wonderla, which they were going to visit. He stopped at an isolated place, assaulted Sushma and bludgeoned her to death. He then smothered the baby and set the bodies on fire with petrol from the bike.
The next day, a forest guard on his rounds noticed the half-burnt body of a woman in Hejjala plantation and alerted the jurisdictional Bidadi police, who in turn were busy with the assault case involving Congress MLAs Anand Singh and J N Ganesh.
The Bidadi police rushed to the spot.
Bidadi police inspector K Jeevan and sub-inspector B C Harish picked up Raju and during interrogation, he confessed to killing Sushma and the baby. He told police Sushma was chatting with other men on Facebook and took no interest in domestic chores or taking care of the child.
He was arrested and remanded in judicial custody. The police haven’t found the infant’s body. They suspect some wild animals would have consumed the remains. The area is said to have a considerable population of leopards.
Sushma led a colourful social media life. She was active on Facebook and Instagram, allegedly spending too much time on social media neglecting chores at home. Angry over his wife Raju bludgeoned her to death and strangled their three-month-old son within hours of each other.
Sushma, a native of Tumakuru, and Raju, a resident of Gangondanahalli near Madanayakanahalli, had come in contact with each other after he sent her a friend request on Facebook. The chats soon gave way to a physical relationship after which she got pregnant. After she gave birth, the couple started living together upon parent’s insistence.