National

Sasikala neighbour 'Cyanide' Mallika shifted

The news that Sasikala was put up in a cell next to that of 'cyanide killer' Mallika+ , aka KD Kempamma, 52, in the women's barracks had made headlines late last week in the backdrop of allegations that the AIADMK leader's life was under threat. 'Cyanide' Mallika, possibly the country's first woman serial killer, has been accused of killing six women. She allegedly identified rich women frequenting temples in and around Bengaluru, befriended them and killed them using cyanide before making off with their jewellery.

'Cyanide' Mallika was arrested in 2008 and convicted in many cases. Officials said Mallika was shifted due to security reasons. However, jail sources said Mallika was friendly and cordial with Sasikala. "In fact, she would not allow Sasikala to stand in queue during meal time. She used to bring the food for her," a source said, adding authorities might have been uneasy about it. The shifting was a hush hush affair and officials did not inform Mallika on the move, the sources said. "They just asked Mallika to pack up her belongings and get ready to shift to another cell," a source said, adding the murder convict was then bundled off to Hindalga jail.

One of the oldest prisons in the country, Hindalga jail houses scores of convicts on death row, besides several accused in terror cases.

The shifting of Mallika comes amid efforts by Saskala's lawyers to get the AIADMK leader shifted to a jail in Tamil Nadu+ . Incidentally, Sasikala is housed in the cell where another high-profile murderer, advocate Shubha Shankarnarayan, had been lodged for years.

Daughter of an advocate, Shubha was convicted of murdering her techie-fiance in collusion with her boyfriend and his aides in 2003. At least 500 women prisoners, both convicts and undertrials, are in Bengaluru jail.

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