Hyderabad Rape-Murder Case: The body was found the same day as the child went missing – last Thursday — said Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar. “It appears to be suicide,” he told.
A man found dead on railway tracks this morning could be the suspect in the rape and murder of a six-year-old girl in Hyderabad last week, the police said today. The police said they have reason to believe the body, found around 130 km from Hyderabad, is that of Pallakonda Raju, who had been missing since the child’s body was found inside his home on Sunday.
“It appears to be suicide,” Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar told.
The Telangana police shared images of the body on Twitter. Though the body has yet to be identified, the police said he had the same tattoos as the rape-murder suspect.
“We have reasons to think it is the suspect – tattoo marks on hands, name tattooed on his hand, his hair style…A fingerprint analysis will confirm it,” the Hyderabad police chief said.
News of the death comes two days after Telangana Minister Malla Reddy’s comment that the accused “will be killed in an encounter”.
“We will catch the rapist and murderer. There will be an encounter after he is caught,” Mr Reddy had told reporters in Hyderabad on Tuesday.
So far, only circumstantial evidence ties Raju, 30, a neighbour of the child, to the crime. He was allegedly a drunk and was known for “deviant behaviour” but had no criminal record.
The police had released his photo and had announced a reward of ₹ 10 lakh for any information on him.
The girl was found dead inside Raju’s house a week ago and he had been missing since.
The girl went missing from her home in Singareni Colony in Hyderabad on September 9 (Thursday). Her body was found in the house of the neighbour the same day, wrapped in a bedsheet. An autopsy confirmed that she was sexually assaulted and strangled.
Reports the same day had first said the accused had been arrested. But when it emerged it was not true, there were massive protests in the area. Some even demanded “an encounter”, referring to criminals shot dead by the police.
Minister KT Rama Rao retracted his tweet announcing the arrest.
“Would like to correct my tweet below. I was misinformed that he was arrested. Regret the erroneous statement. The perpetrator is absconding and Hyderabad police has launched a massive manhunt for him. Let’s all make our best efforts to ensure he’s nabbed and brought to justice quickly,” Mr Rao posted, with a screenshot of his earlier tweet.
Several politicians, activists, and even film stars expressed anger and shock and social media users appealed for justice for the girl and her family.