Kannada actress Hemashree: Unhappy life, unexplained death

NAT

The roller-coaster life of a struggling young actress has been laid bare following her mysterious death on October 9 — an unhappy marriage to a wealthy politician with a criminal record, an allegedly greedy family who forced her into the marriage, a stab at politics, allegations of prostitution, and loneliness and depression.

Hemashree H N, 30, who played character roles in Kannada films, starred in television serials and lost in the 2008 Karnataka Assembly polls on a BSP ticket, was brought dead to Baptist Hospital in Bangalore by her husband, R Surendra Babu, 51, who lost the 2009 parliamentary polls as a candidate of the Janata Dal (S), the party of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda.

Babu, a lawyer and real estate businessman, has been arrested by the Bangalore police on charges of murdering the actress following a complaint by her father, H Nagaraj. Babu was the last person known to have been with her, for an estimated 14 hours until her death.

How she died, however, remains unclear. Babu has claimed innocence and told the police that Hemashree suddenly had convulsions and began throwing up on October 9 in his car while the couple were on their way to the Ananthapur farmhouse of an Andhra Pradesh Congress politician.

Hemashre had claimed to have detested her husband from the day they married, June 22, 2011. How she was coerced into going with him in the first place is, therefore, another mystery. One police theory was that she may have been drugged with chloroform at her parents' home the previous night before being taken away by her husband. A toxicology report from the Forensic Science Laboratory has found traces of chloroform in the blood, stomach, liver and kidney, though it has not yet been established if this was the cause of her death.

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