Woman disfigures lover to pass him off as dead husband

M. Swathi with her husband, Mr Sudhakar Reddy, whom she and her lover allegedly bludgeoned to death.
M. Swathi with her husband, Mr Sudhakar Reddy, whom she and her lover allegedly bludgeoned to death.

HYDERABAD (India) • An Indian woman crafted an elaborate plot to disguise her lover as her dead husband, but the plan later unravelled because of a bowl of mutton soup.

M. Swathi, a 27-year-old nurse at a private hospital in Nagarkurnool town of Telangana state, was arrested on Sunday for allegedly murdering her 32-year-old husband, Mr Sudhakar Reddy.

Local news network NDTV reported that Swathi was having an affair with her physiotherapist, named Rajesh, and the two hatched a plan to kill her husband.

On Nov 27, they allegedly injected anaesthesia into Mr Sudhakar. When he became unconscious, they allegedly bludgeoned him on the head with an iron rod and killed him. His body was burned and dumped in the Nawabpet forest, according to The Indian Express newspaper.

In a bizarre move, Swathi then allegedly poured acid on her lover's face and told her family that her husband had been attacked. NDTV reported that the plan was for Rajesh to have plastic surgery and take the place of her husband.

However, Mr Sudhakar's family became suspicious when Rajesh refused to eat the mutton soup served to him at the hospital. They found out that he had told the hospital staff he was vegetarian when Mr Sudhakar, in fact, ate meat, NDTV said.

The family also started to notice differences in the behaviour of "Mr Sudhakar" and reportedly tested him by asking him to identify relatives. When Rajesh could not answer the questions, he allegedly stopped speaking and started communicating with signs instead.

The Indian Express said that Mr Sudhakar's brother then lodged a police report. The police carried out fingerprint tests and discovered the discrepancy. Swathi finally confessed to killing her husband after repeated questioning by the police.

Swathi had reportedly told Rajesh she was unhappy in her marriage. The police told BBC that they will be arresting Rajesh after he is treated for facial burns and discharged from the hospital.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 15, 2017, with the headline 'Woman disfigures lover to pass him off as dead husband'. Print Edition | Subscribe