‘Beast of Bangalore’ is the latest instalment of the ‘Indian Predator’ series. It narrates the story of a man who threatened women’s safety in and around the Bangalore region between 1996 and 2002. The series is now streaming on Netflix.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
In 1996, a woman was stripped and assaulted in Chitradurga, Karnataka after getting off a bus and walking through an open field. She claimed that a man jumped out of nowhere and did this to her but ran away in fear of being seen.
A few months later, a minor girl’s body was found and it was deduced that she had been raped and then smothered. The girl’s name was Pallavi and she was reported missing by her family a day or two earlier.
When the police were investigating the matter, they learned that another woman was attacked but the culprit ran away when the victim’s father arrived on the scene.
There was a lot of public furore over these attacks and the safety of women in this small village and the CID was brought in to handle the case. When they interviewed the girl who survived because her father showed up, she said that she had seen him once again.
Their investigation led them to find out that the man was an officer in training and that his name was Umesh Reddy. They captured him and upon searching his room, they found several pieces of women’s undergarments and other jewellery, but nothing connecting him to the recent crimes apart from the one victim’s statement.
He was charged with “outraging her modesty” but was released on bail soon after and disappeared. Months later, Umesh resurfaces in Bangalore and he is once again brought in front of the police when he was caught by members of the public while breaking into a woman’s house and trying to rob her.
Since the woman didn’t lose anything, no case was filed but it was brought to the authorities’ attention that Umesh already had cases against him in Chitradurga. This time, he changes his statement regarding Pallavi’s rape and murder, stating that it was a group of his friends who committed the act.
The police arrest the other people that Umesh alluded to but while they were transferring him to a different prison, Umesh managed to escape.
During his second arrest, Umesh led the police to evidence buried in the ground near his house which belonged to the victims of his crimes. He’s also found with much more women’s undergarments and at this point, it is established that he’s a sexual deviant.
After escaping from custody a second time, Umesh disappears once again before showing in Bangalore once more, this time committing his worst offence yet.
Indian Predator: Beast of Bangalore explained in detail:
What crimes did Umesh commit in Bangalore?
Umesh raped and murdered a woman named Jayashree in the Peenya region of Bangalore and was even seen by her son before he left. He told the young boy that his mother was possessed and escaped after telling the boy that he was going to fetch the doctor.
He was also accused of breaking into several other homes and attacking women with the same modus operandi of stripping them and tying them up before assaulting them.
He was once again arrested in 1998 when one of the women he attempted to rape managed to raise the alarm and attract the attention of her neighbours who captured Umesh and called the police.
How was Umesh eventually caught?
Between 1998 and 2002, Umesh managed to get away from the police on two more occasions bringing his total of successful escape attempts to 5.
By the year 2002, Umesh’s notoriety was well-known throughout Karnataka and his picture was a constant fixture in the news media as they sensationalized his crimes to garner ratings.
One day, Umesh was seen walking into a salon in the Yeshwantpur area where an auto driver saw him and immediately informed a relative of his who went to the police while the driver kept watch.
The police eventually caught Umesh, who initially claimed to be someone else. On his person and within his luggage was a disturbing amount of women’s undergarments, much like during his previous arrests.
What was Umesh’s sentence?
Throughout Umesh’s reign of terror, there was a lot of incompetence shown by the authorities at various junctures and that had an adverse effect on the ruling of several cases against Umesh.
Many of them were dismissed due to a lack of evidence or irregularities in the handling of the evidence that was found. Many of the victims refused to testify or weren’t able to testify due to the trauma they were dealing with and Umesh was acquitted in those cases as a result.
In the case of Pallavi’s murder, the second testimony that brought in the added involvement of other individuals overcomplicated the case and it was eventually dismissed.
Umesh was sentenced to 4 years and 7 years in prison for attacking two different women in their homes and raping them while in the case of Jayashree’s murder, he was given the death penalty.
As of November 2022, Umesh’s death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment and he is currently lodged in the Belgaum central prison.
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