Senior Karnataka government officer Prathima KS, who was murdered at her home in Bengaluru over the weekend, was known to colleagues as “brave and dynamic”, and had recently received a promotion.
Prathima, 45, worked with the Department of Mines and Geology. Her colleagues described her as an upstanding officer who conducted successful raids.
“Be it raids or any action, she earned a great reputation in the department. She recently raided a few places. She didn’t make any enemies. According to the new rules, she did her work and earned a great name,” said Dinesh, a senior officer in the Karnataka Environment Department.
The officer lived alone in Bengaluru. Her husband, an agriculturist, lives in Shivamogga’s Thirthahalli town, where their son studies in Class 10.
She was killed on Saturday evening after she returned from work. Her brother, worried that she hadn’t responded to his calls, found the body on Sunday morning.
The evidence suggests that she was attacked as she was entering her house and her throat was slit. She was also stabbed multiple times. The attacker apparently dragged her body inside the house before escaping.
The police suspected the killer was known to Prathima. Also, there was no sign of robbery.
Prathima’s driver, whose phone had been switched off, was arrested this morning. Kiran, 32, had been sacked by her 10 days ago. On Saturday, the geologist was dropped home by a new driver.
Prathima, who completed her Masters from Kuvempu University in Shivamogga, joined the Mines and Geology Department as a geologist in 2008.
She had worked in Bengaluru’s Ramnagara for over a year and had specialised in rural areas. A year ago, she was promoted to senior geologist and was appointed Deputy Director.
She had recently carried out a raid at an illegal quarry, reporting a loss of Rs 25 lakh, after which a case was filed against a BJP MLA and three others.
Prathima had lived alone in a double-storied independent house in Bengaluru for five years, according to the police.