Updated: September 18, 2021 1:35:46 pm
Even though the Telangana High Court has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the death of Pallakonda Raju, the suspect in the rape and murder of a minor girl in Hyderabad who was found dead on a railway track near Jangaon district on Thursday, Telangana police maintained that it was a clear case of suicide.
DGP M Mahendar Reddy, while addressing the media on Friday, said there was no scope for any assumptions or lies about Raju’s death.
Prof Gaddam Laxman, the president of the Telangana Civil Liberties Committee, had approached the High Court on Friday and raised several doubts on the death. His counsel, M Venkanna, alleged that the suspect was held by the police, taken to a railway track and killed there in order to project it as a suicide.
The court has asked the third metropolitan magistrate of Warangal to conduct a judicial inquiry and submit a report within four weeks. The court also sought a copy of the post-mortem examination from the police.
The DGP said that there were seven eyewitnesses to confirm that Raju died by suicide. “This is 100 per cent a case of suicide. No one should have any doubts regarding that. We have videos of the statements of all seven eyewitnesses and there is no need for anyone to lie on this matter,” he added.
According to the DGP, two loco pilots of Konark Express, two farmers, two staffers of Indian Railways and the station master at Ghanpur have all given their statements. As soon as the suspect was run over by the train, the loco pilots informed the station master and also recorded the incident in the Railway’s information system. Two gang men, who were on duty, had seen the suspect moving near the tracks suspiciously and were informed by two farmers, he added.
The Government Railway Police have registered a case of unnatural death and started an investigation. They are expected to submit their report to the local court.
The petitioner’s counsel, however, told the High Court about how Minister Ch Malla Reddy assured the public that the suspect should be killed in an encounter and how Minister KT Rama Rao retracted later after confirming the arrest of the suspect.
A minor girl had gone missing on September 9 and later in the evening found dead, wrapped in a bedsheet in the neighbour’s house. Pallakonda Raju (30), a vagabond and alcoholic according to the Police, was missing since the incident. The police had launched a statewide manhunt for the suspect and shared multiple photographs of him in possible disguises. Raju managed to evade the police as he didn’t carry a mobile phone with him and did not contact his family.
Incidentally, a Supreme Court-appointed inquiry commission is in Hyderabad to find out the circumstances that led to the death of the four suspects in the rape and murder of a 27-year-old veterinarian in the outskirts of the city on December 6, 2019. According to Cyberabad police, the four suspects had snatched the weapons from the police and attacked them when they were brought to the location for reconstruction of the crime scene. All four were killed around 500 metres away from the location in an alleged exchange of fire. Several activists and the families of the four deceased have questioned the police’s version of the incident.
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