Hyderabad: Caretaker blinds woman with toxic eye-drops, robs her; arrested
The Hyderabad Police has arrested a 32-year-old caretaker, P Bhargavi, for blinding an elderly woman by administering a toxic concoction to her eyes and robbing her, India Today reported. The victim, Hemavathi (73), lived alone in an apartment complex at Nacharam, Secunderabad. However, in August 2021, her son Sashidhar, who resides in London, hired Bhargavi as a live-in housekeeper to care for Hemavathi.
Why does this story matter?
- This incident comes a few months after Hyderabad was deemed safer than other south Indian cities—including Chennai and Bengaluru—at Hyderabad Police's annual crime roundup event in December.
- Anjani Kumar—the then Hyderabad City Police Commissioner—said Hyderabad ranked 18th at the national level in terms of crime rate.
- However, while the overall crime rate went down, crimes against women reportedly went up in Hyderabad last year.
Maid administered mixture of Harpic, Zandu Balm
Bhargavi had moved into Hemavathi's flat with her seven-year-old daughter and had been waiting for an opportunity to steal from her. In October last year, when Bhargavi noticed Hemavathi rubbing her eyes she offered to put some "soothing" drops in her eyes. She then quietly mixed bathroom cleaner Harpic and pain relief balm Zandu Balm with water and administered the same to Hemavathi's eyes.
The elderly lady completely lost eyesight later
A few days later, Hemavathi informed Shashidhar she had an eye infection and he referred her to a nearby hospital. However, her eyesight worsened and her daughter Ushashri took her to the hospital again. Soon, Hemavathi completely lost her eyesight following which Shashidhar flew down to Hyderabad. He took her to LV Prasad Eye Hospital where they learned a poisonous solution caused her blindness.
Caretaker admitted to stealing Rs. 40,000, jewelry
After the doctors revealed the cause of Hemavathi's blindness, her family suspected Bhargavi and filed a police report. During the questioning, Bhargavi confessed to the crime. She admitted to blinding the old lady and stealing Rs. 40,000 in cash, two gold bangles, a gold chain, and other jewelry from Hemavathi, reported TNIE. The caretaker was then arrested and sent to judicial remand on Wednesday.