‘Beast Of Bangalore: Indian Predator’ Explained: Who Was BA Umesh Reddy? Was He Caught By The Authorities?

There is no shortage of true crime documentaries concerning serial killers or serial offenders from around the world. Netflix India lately has brought to the surface plenty of documentaries on serial killers that rocked the region it is set in. Netflix India has “Indian Predator: Murder in a Courtroom,” “House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths,” “Indian Predator: The Butcher of Delhi,” and “Crime Stories: India Detectives,” some of which are well-made and well appreciated by the audience for bringing out the gritty shady side of humans residing in the world’s second most populated country in the world. It is refreshing to watch such shows where the facts are given away as facts and not sold as entertainment. “Beast of Bangalore: Indian Predator” is a Netflix Original true crime documentary about a serial offender who was on a rampage in the city of Bangalore from 1996 to 2002. The horror he spread through his heinous acts of crime is what the documentary focuses on.


‘Beast Of Bangalore: Indian Predator’ Plot Synopsis: MO Of BA Umesh Reddy

“Beast of Bangalore: Indian Predator” begins with the anatomy of Bangalore and talks in detail about the police officers and journalists who lived in the city and the suburbs around it during the late 1990s, from 1996 to 1998, to be precise. Bangalore was just a paradise that was yet to be hit by the IT boom. The city, which was considered an ideal city for those who wanted to retire and live a peaceful life, suddenly, their lives were hit by a series of news about sexual assault coupled with robbery carried out by a man. The city never felt as unsafe as the police officers and the journalists made it seem. But what led to the crimes that were being carried out in a rather peaceful city in the south of India? The story begins in Chitradurga, a district 200 kilometers away from the city of Bangalore. A government employee named Divya, on her way back home from work, is attacked on a lonely street leading to her home by a man. Her clothes were stripped off, and the jewelry she wore was stolen. Her gold earrings were ripped off from her ears, causing a major injury to her ear. The local police come to find out what happened and who committed the crime. Divya is traumatized, and the police start investigating this unusual case of robbery and attempted molestation on a woman along with it. In the same town, the body of a minor girl named Pallavi is found on the outskirts of the city. Her body is found naked, her clothes are ripped and thrown away in various visible directions, and the jewelry she had been wearing is stolen. The police also find out that Pallavi was raped and killed after being robbed. Police are yet to find a pattern or a connection between the two murders that happened in the same city. As they investigate further, the police are made aware of an attempted assault on another woman, Geeta, from the same town, right between the day Divya was robbed and assaulted, and Pallavi was found dead. Geeta comes forward and informs the police that she can recognize the man who assaulted her. As she recognizes the man, the police find out the man in question is BA Umesh Reddy, who is training to be a police constable. The local police are shocked to find out the man’s identity and his profession. Umesh Reddy is arrested right away as soon as Geeta recognizes the man. In the hope of finding the connection between Divya’s assault and Pallavi’s murder, police head to his accommodation to locate the jewelry that was stolen from Divya and Pallavi, only to find a suitcase full of women’s lingerie in it.

On hearing statements from other trainees at the police academy, they claimed Umesh wore lingerie at night while going to sleep. It is not established if Umesh Reddy is a transvestite. Umesh Reddy lived and sustained himself at a time when the concept of LGBTQ was nonexistent in India. Anybody acting a little differently was considered a freak or psychopath. There was no knowledge or awareness about people belonging to the queer community. Even if there were, it was a taboo topic all around the country. The police are following up on every lead they get about the murders and the man they assume is responsible for them. The police are keen on finding out about Umesh Reddy’s past. He hails from the village of Basappana Malige. He was born into a dysfunctional family where his father is known in the village for his bad temper. Such dysfunction showcased by his parents led to Umesh being a nuisance in the class and a nuisance in the village till he turned 16. When he learned of the police and the villagers looking out for him, Umesh ran away to Chitradurga. Umesh’s childhood trauma can be the reason behind him getting into the field of crime. His father’s behavior toward him was nonchalant. This probably led to Umesh becoming overconfident and conducting robberies on slightly bigger scales. Umesh’s background was not explored in depth to understand why he conducted such crimes, especially in light of his father’s temperamental behavior.


‘Beast Of Bangalore: Indian Predator’ Explained: Was BA Umesh Reddy Finally Caught By The Authorities?

Once he is caught in Chitradurga for the crimes he committed, the local laws about robbery are strong, but the law regarding sexual assault is not, which leads to Umesh receiving bail rather quickly. Once out of jail, Umesh runs away to Bangalore. In the year 1997, Umesh is caught by a group for assaulting a woman in their locality. He is tied up to a pole, and the police are informed of the crime. On reaching the scene of the crime, Umesh is taken into custody, though he keeps lying about not being involved in an assault of any sort. On searching his home, the police find gunny sacks filled with women’s lingerie and packets filled with gold jewelry, which he has stolen. Umesh escapes from police custody, but the police receive a tip about his presence in his village. The police picked him up from his home. After an investigation, he starts confessing to crimes he committed against women in Chitradurga and Bangalore. Sexually assaulting women after or before the loot. He takes them to the spot where he hid the gold stolen from Divya and Pallavi by Chitradurga. While in Bangalore in 1997, a police investigation and Umesh’s confession proved many assaults and robberies of the same MO, conducted by him as per his statements. The Karnataka Police go on a spree to find out more about the crimes this man has conducted throughout this belt. The biggest hurdle faced by the investigation is the constant changing of the investigation officers and Umesh changing his statements accordingly. One statement had Umesh claiming Pallavi’s death was due to gang rape conducted by a group of his friends from reputed families. Police catch the culprits mentioned by Umesh, and one of them turns informant for the police and describes the night they kidnapped Pallavi, assaulted her, and killed her. But the police find plenty of loopholes in his story and do not take his word as the final one. The police’s biggest drawback was the constantly changing investigation officers who had their own method of conducting investigations, which made it easy for Umesh in many ways as there was no concrete proof except his confession. A confession can be deemed bogus if Umesh claims in court that he was forced to confess during hardcore interrogation. The women who recognized Umesh as the attacker did not come forward to file any case against him, keeping in mind the amount of embarrassment it would cause to the women and their families if this news was made public. Their refusal to file a case further derailed the investigation, as the police had to depend on Umesh’s confession. This also throws light on the fact that somewhere women would be blamed, and they would be chastised by society and looked down upon if their names were revealed during the investigation. The assaulted women refuse to file a case against Umesh, knowing what he did was a crime. The patriarchal society is such that it does not allow women, consciously or unconsciously, to talk about crimes done to them. Be it a physical or a sexual crime. Umesh cleverly escapes during his jail transfer from Chitradurga to Bellary jail and resurfaces in Bangalore in the year 1998.

In Bangalore, Umesh murders yet another married woman, Jayashree, and to his overconfidence, the kid of the woman he killed is witness to his presence inside the home. Umesh was finally caught again in 1998 for assaulting a pregnant woman from the same locality where Jayashree was murdered. Umesh, though, takes advantage of the non-existing technology that would connect one city police department to another. After escaping multiple times from the police, Umesh is caught in the city itself. Umesh has a defense lawyer to support his claim of being not guilty. Umesh’s case was amplified by the emerging TV news channels, which, to gain more ratings, started sensationalizing his crimes and projecting his photos everywhere, which in turn helped the police to nab him. Though Umesh was sentenced to death, the Supreme Court reduced his sentence to a life sentence. Umesh’s case of conducting brutal crimes against women is a classic example of how women are easy targets, plus men such as Umesh hope to get away from crimes of such a manner, hoping women would never come forward to file a complaint.  This turned out to be true in his case because many women refused to file any official complaint of sexual assault, fearing society and their gaze. The documentary also threw light on the fact that lapses in the case occurred due to a lack of technologies back in the 90s, which helped the defense to form a strong case against the prosecution.


Final Thoughts

“Beast of Bangalore: Indian Predator” is a confusing documentary about BA Umesh Reddy, who supposedly committed plenty of heinous crimes against women in the state of Karnataka from 1996 to 2002. He was always on the run when finally, he was caught by the Karnataka police. Written and directed by Ashwin Rai Shetty, the documentary does have plenty of loopholes from the start to the end in its narration of stories that jump from one timeline to another. The screenplay jumps back and forth from one year to another and back to a previous year, and the link formed between these stories and crimes is not made clear. The narrative is puzzling and does not tie up many loose ends. There is no explanation of why Umesh committed those crimes; his history and thought process, and the motives behind the crimes are never discussed. His connection with his family is touched upon, but nothing more than that is explored in this documentary. The writers of the documentary also did not talk about Umesh possibly being a transvestite or his obsession with sleeping with women’s lingerie on. Talking about this side of him would have made it easy for people to understand the kind of society we lived in the 1990s when the subject of LGBTQ was absent. “Beast of Bangalore: Indian Predator” is a decent attempt to talk about crime stories from our backyard that have been forgotten over the years. 

“Beast of Bangalore: Indian Predator” is a Netflix India original true crime documentary streaming with subtitles.

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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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