Actress murder: House-owner raises doubts about Sandhya’s death

House where the crime allegedly took place.

Chennai: Disbelief. Shock. These were the reactions from the house owner and a neighbour when News Today visited the spot and asked them about the murder of small-time actress Sandhya by her husband-director Balakrishnan.
After murdering her, Balakrishnan allegedly chopped her body into several pieces and threw them at different places in and around Jafferkhanpet.

Hours after news broke out that Balakrishnan was arrested Wednesday, this reporter visited the house on Gandhi Street, Jafferkhanpet. Though there were a few TV channel persons present, the main gate of the house was locked.

When enquired with a neighbour, he said, “Sir, it is unbelievable. When I first heard the news, I thought it was in some other place. But, when I came to know it was the person living next door, I was shocked.”

“Balakrishnan was a quiet man. I used to see him in the mornings and he used to greet me. That’s all. For further details, you speak to the house-owner who stays upstairs as I am also a tenant,” he said.

When this correspondent entered the portico through the side entrance, there was a car parked and a door closed. There were steps leading to the first floor and when this reporter climbed the stairway, he saw the landlord sitting and watching television.

Balakrishnan

The soft-spoken elderly person said, “I still can’t believe that such an incident happened in my house. My children do not know about this and when they see the news on television, they will call me.”

“Balakrishnan was my first tenant. He was staying in a single room on the ground floor for the last one year. My son was using the room, later he went to the US. As the room was kept locked, a broker approached me and asked me to rent it out. He brought Balakrishnan and introduced him to me,” said the house-owner, who is a retired employee from Tamilnadu Housing Board.

“Balakrishnan used to maintain a low profile. He would leave the house in the afternoons and return only at night. He used to go out of station frequently. When the room light is switched off and slippers outside are missing, I know that he is not there,” he said.

“Balakrishnan had told me about his family dispute. He said he had applied for divorce and that his children were staying with his parents in Thoothukudi. During Pongal festival, his wife Sandhya came here. Balakrishnan introduced her to me and said she had come to sort out things. She was here for a couple of days and was not to be seen after that. I advised Balakrishnan to fix an appointment with a psychiatrist and that both of them should go for counselling. He said ok to that,” he said.

“On Tuesday, around 10.30 pm, the police were on the ground floor. I went down and asked them why they were there. The Pallikarani police said Sandhya’s parents had lodged a complaint against Balakrishnan and that they were taking him for enquiry. Balakrishnan said to me, ‘Sir, I am going. If my parents call you, inform them that the police have taken me.’ This was his last reaction,” the house-owner said.

“When I visited the room, there was no trace of a murder having taken place there. My other tenant has a Pomeranian dog. If the murder had happened here, the dog would have smelled the blood and barked. But it did not do so. This is a big mystery to me,” he said.

Cops continue search for head, Balakrishnan produced before court
A police team, led by Deputy Commissioner M S Muthusamy, arrived at Perungudi dumpyard at 10 am today to locate for the head of the corpse.

After questioning, Balakrishnan said he had left some body parts under the bridge near Kasi Theatre, Ekkatuthangal. It is possible that the lorry could have brought it to this dumpyard, they reasoned.

On 21 January, at 3 am, police found there a right hand severed from the shoulder and two legs from under the knees. The police concluded that they were the limbs of a woman since the severed hand had a bangle. A dragon and Siva Parvathi image were also tattooed on the hand. After slicing her into pieces, Balakrishnan allegedly dumped them in several garbage bins, including Power House, Kodambakkam.

In the meantime, Balakrishnan was produced before a Chennai court today.

 

Karthikeyan Halan