Rajesh Kumar Kaimal, a Dubai resident, was a killer on the run after murdering his girlfriend 16 years ago in Bengaluru, India.
But the long arm of justice finally caught up with Kaimal now 40, when he visited his native state of Kerala on December 5 for a pilgrimage.
B. Devarajan, Bengaluru’s Joint Commissioner of Police, Crime, told XPRESS that Kaimal was remanded to judicial custody and has been sent to the Bengaluru central jail where he will serve life imprisonment.
“We were alerted when the convict landed in Kerala. He was at large since the higher court reversed the verdict of the Sessions court in 2008 and sentenced him to life imprisonment in absentia. The convict had settled in Dubai but police were not aware of his whereabouts,” said Devarajan.
The brutal murder of the girl in 1996 at her hostel room in the Kadandale Krishna Rao Memorial College of Management in Bengaluru had shocked the state.
“Kaimal and Pooja were involved in a relationship. But the couple had fights because Kaimal suspected she was over-friendly with other students,” said police.
When Pooja broke up with Kaimal after he became possessive and abusive, the jilted lover sneaked into her hostel room on the College Day and stabbed her to death.
The Bengaluru police filed a charge sheet against Kaimal but the lower court acquitted him for lack of evidence in 2001.
The state appealed to the High Court which overturned the verdict, sentencing Kaimal to life imprisonment in 2008.
Subsequently, the police issued warrants for his arrest but he absconded to Dubai.
“We got a tip off when he landed in Kerala. He had come to offer puja at Kollur Mookambika temple for his three-year-old son. We went to his village in the guise of passport officers and asked him to come to the office for verification. He was arrested when he showed up,” the police said.
Kaimal also faces charges of possessing two fake passports, police added.