Hyderabad, Dec. 16: A rising Telugu actress, Bhargavi, was murdered in her bed today, apparently by a jealous lover whose body lay beside hers in the posh apartment.
A purported suicide note by Praveen, once described as Bhargavis boyfriend in gossip magazines, declared he had cut the actresss throat with a knife and was about to kill himself.
Bhargavi, 23, had shot to fame with a supporting role in the blockbuster Ashta Chemma, which released a few months ago. The note claimed that since then, she had been avoiding Praveen — leader of a minor music band that played at weddings and parties — and seeing someone else.
We have registered a case of murder and suicide, deputy commissioner of police Ravi Verma said. Praveens brother Kiran Kumar, however, alleged: Its a murder by outsiders.
The actress appears to have been drugged — possibly with a spiked soft drink — and stabbed six times in the early hours, Verma said.
Both bodies lay on the bed, Bhargavi wearing a red top and blue jeans, with the note beside them. The police found a sharp kitchen knife and an empty cyanide bottle in the room.
Bhargavi had moved into the Jubilee Hills flat three months ago with her mother. She received many guests from the industry but no one ever saw Praveen come to the flat, neighbours said. Her mother had left for Guntur, the familys original home, two days ago and Bhargavi was alone in the flat.
Praveen, who was in his late 20s, was twice married. He had divorced his first wife Dolly and married Swapna, who lives in Nellore, where Praveens band was based.
The note claimed Praveen was married to Bhargavi but the actresss father, Rajendra Prasad, denied this.
Since appearing on television as a dancer four years ago, Bhargavi had been a TV anchor and then a popular face in the serial Ammamma.com. After the success of Ashta Chemma, she had signed up for 10 movies and was also shooting for the TV serial Sri Srimati.
Shooting was to start for one of these movies today. The producer came to her flat to find out why she had not turned up, Verma said.
Bhargavi is the latest in a line of southern actresses who have met with a violent death. Shobha committed suicide, Divya Bharti fell to her death mysteriously, and upcoming Telugu actress Pratyusha was killed in 2002 by her boyfriend who is serving time.
In February 2007, TV anchor Lakshmi Sujata was killed in a hotel room in Vijayawada. Her make-up man Chandrasekhar is being tried in the case.