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Kannada actress death: Chloroform found in body

Traces of chloroform have been found in the blood,stomach and organs of Kannada film and television actress Hemashree,who died under mysterious circumstances on October 9

Written by Johnson T A | Bangalore | Published: October 20, 2012 3:32 am

Traces of chloroform have been found in the blood,stomach and organs of Kannada film and television actress Hemashree,who died under mysterious circumstances on October 9 while in the company of her estranged politician husband,according to a forensic report. No other toxic substance has been found.

The Bangalore Police received a copy of the report of toxicology tests on Thursday.

Hemashree was brought dead to a private hospital on the evening of October 9 by her husband R Surendra Babu who claimed she fell unconscious after suffering convulsions and nausea.

Sources involved in the investigations said traces of chloroform in the blood and organs suggest that the anesthetic drug was ingested by the 30-year-old actress both through the nose and the mouth. They,however,said that the quantity of chloroform detected was not enough to cause death.

The sources said chloroform traces were also detected in Hemashree’s clothes.

The detection of only chloroform as a toxic substance in Hemashree’s body also effectively negates a theory that she may have committed suicide through excessive self-medication after discovering she had been “abducted” by her husband,as one probe theory has propounded,sources said.

Hemashree married Surendra Babu,51,a wealthy real-estate dealer with a criminal record who contested and lost the 2009 parliamentary polls on a JD(S) ticket,on June 22 last year,allegedly under coercion from her parents,but remained estranged from him. Surendra Babu is alleged to have drugged Hemashree with chloroform at her parents house on the night of October 8 and taken her away against her wishes to the farmhouse of a politician friend in Ananthapur district of Andhra Pradesh,about 200 km away.

Surendra Babu,who was arrested on October 11 on the basis of a complaint by Hemashree’s father,has told the police that he repeatedly administered chloroform to his wife to keep her from protesting while being taken to Ananthapur.

Prior to the toxicology tests some police officers familiar with the case had surmised excess chloroform administered by Surendra Babu may have caused the death.

The exact cause of Hemashree’s death failed to emerge from a post mortem was conducted on October 10 at the Victoria Hospital in Bangalore leading to hopes being pinned on the toxicology tests. The post mortem report had indicated minor injuries on Hemashree’s face but did not report signs of smothering,poisoning or any other possible causes of death. It left the cause of death inconclusive.

Medical experts are now set to use the post mortem report,the toxicology tests and pathology tests to arrive at a conclusion on what exactly caused Hemashree’s death. In the absence of clear evidence,the cause of death may be labeled “undetermined”,sources said.

Surendra Babu,who is also a lawyer,has so far claimed that he did not kill his wife. His car driver Satish,who was witness and party to much of the happenings on October 8 and 9 with Hemashree,who could hold answers to the questions surrounding the death,has gone missing.

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