Hyderabad: It was a cashier working at a filling station, Lingaram Praveen Goud, at Essar Mahalaxmi petrol pump at Kothur, who helped the Cyberabad police identify the four suspects arrested for the rape and murder of the veterinary assistant surgeon at Shadnagar on November 28.
After the incident went viral on social media and was widely telecast on news channels the next day, Goud, who is now a key witness in the case, immediately dialed 100 and informed the police that around 12.30 am that night, two persons aged around 20 years had reached the petrol pump at Nandigama village on a red scooter (the vehicle which later turned out to be that of the victim) and asked for petrol in a plastic bottle.
“When I refused to give them petrol in bottle, they left immediately and went towards Shadnagar,” Goud told the police. The suspects later purchased petrol from another fuel station in Kothur and used it to set the victim’s body on fire so as to conceal her identity.
With the help of the CCTV footage that was collected from the filling station, the police first traced the lorry bearing registration number TS07-UA-3335 driven by the prime suspect Mohammed Arif and approached the vehicle owner P Srinivas Reddy, according to the remand report submitted in the court by the Shadnagar police.
When enquired, Reddy informed that the vehicle was with Mohammad Arif. A police team then went to Arif’s house at Jakkulare village in Makthal of Narayanpet district and took him into their custody. Three other police teams went to the houses of the other suspects Jollu Naveen, Jollu Shiva and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu, all relatives and residents of Gudigandla village of Makthal mandal in Narayanpet.
Once the four were taken into custody, Goud identified the two persons who came to the filling station for purchasing petrol as Shiva and Naveen. With this, the police linked the suspects to the burnt body, and also the brutal gangrape and murder.
Sexual predators should be punished without delay: Telangana MPs
Members of Parliament from the State have voiced their anger over the brutal rape and murder of “Disha” and demanded stringent laws to curb such tendencies that victimise women irrespective of their age.
Cutting across party lines, Telangana MPs demanded fast action against the culprits in the Disha case. The issue was taken up in Lok Sabha following an adjournment motion by Congress party. Speaker Om Birla allowed for a discussion on “Disha” during zero hour on Monday.
TRS MP from Mahbubabad Maloth Kavitha demanded that the house take up the Disha issue immediately for a day long discussion. “We must bring a better and strong law to curb the menace,” she said. Citing the Nirbhaya case, the MP wanted to know why the judgment for capital punishment to the perpetrators was still not being carried out. “There should be no discussion. The criminal that caused such pain to women and children must die,” she said.
Karimnagar MP Bandi Sanjay said the heinous crime had shaken the conscience of the country. “We all must be ashamed as the incident occurred in an urban conglomerate,” the BJP MP said, and stressed on the need to sensitise the girl child. Seeking stringent laws to punish perpetrators of such cime, he welcomed the demand for a thorough discussion on the issue.
Congress MP N Uttam Kumar Reddy demanded trial of such cases in fast track courts. “The incident is a wakeup call for all of us. Despite the Nirbhaya case, we haven’t woke up from our deep slumber,” Reddy said. He opined that speedy implementation of the punishments awarded to criminals will help people believe in the system. “The Common man is disappointed and angry today as the laws are weak,” he said.
Awareness campaign by Hyd City Police
A massive awareness campaign is being taken up by the Hyderabad City Police on helplines for women’s safety in view of the brutal rape and murder of a veterinary assistant surgeon at Shadnagar on Wednesday.
The campaign is being taken up across educational institutions, public places and colonies by Blue Colts and police patrol teams, local Sub-inspectors and Inspectors and higher officials. The police are explaining to the public, especially women and girls, about the Dial 100 facility, SHE teams and Hawkeye mobile app features and so on, apart from sharing the different WhatsApp numbers on which women can call or message for help. Similar campaigns are being taken up by the Cyberabad and Rachakonda police as well.
In Hyderabad city on Monday, DCP (West) AR Srinivas visited educational institutions in the West Zone and explained to the children about the Dial 100 facility. He asked teachers to regularly remind the students about the facility and SHE teams. The drive was taken up to instil confidence among women about safety and security on the roads. The police already have issued an advisory to women asking them to avoid isolated spots during night hours.
Local patrolling parties have been asked to immediately identify dark spots like graveyards, open boundaries and isolated stretches and to take up immediate illumination. The higher-ups have also asked the station house officers to check boozing at public places.
Cops told file zero FIRs
Police officers have been asked to act on every case with due priority, including registering of ‘zero FIR’, which means a case can be registered at any police station without jurisdictional limitations.
This comes after the police faced sharp criticism over the alleged delay in responding to the complaint of the family of the Shadnagar rape-murder victim.
National Commission for Women (NCW), which sent a fact-finding team to the city, said in its report that police officials delayed taking action. In view of this, police officers were once again instructed to register a ‘Zero FIR’.
“Whether the complaint is received through Dial 100, physically or any another mode related to a woman missing, staff at the police station must book a case and act accordingly,” a senior official said, adding that there should not be any negligence on part of the staff at the police station to book a case.
CP’s message to patrol officers
City Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar asked patrol officers to reach out to the public in the shortest possible time when a call on 100 is received. “Your presence must ensure safety and security to all and particularly women. Do not hesitate to help a woman reach her home at night,” he said, adding that the public expects the police to reach them within 8-10 minutes.
Ten teams working overtime
Ten police teams under the supervision of four DCPs and assisted by eight ACPs and 15 inspectors are working overtime to speed up the investigation into the Shadnagar rape-murder. Keeping in view the gravity of the case, the police entrusted different tasks — forensics, court, collection of scientific evidence and security of the suspects — to different teams. The police aim at filing the chargesheet before the court in a record time of 15 days to ensure speedy trial.
Security of suspects
Having seen an irate crowd at Shadnagar, boiling with rage against the suspects in the rape-murder case, police are tight-lipped and yet undecided on where to lodge the suspects after obtaining their custody. A mob demanded that the police hand over the suspects to them. It even chased the police convoy ferrying the suspects and pelted stones.
“We will interrogate them at an undisclosed location after obtaining their police custody,” is all that officials are saying now. The police are also contemplating the possibility of interrogating the suspects at the prison itself after obtaining permission from the authorities concerned.
Vet’s ashes immersed in Krishna River
Jogulamba Gadwal: After performing the last rites of the Shadnagar rape-murder victim, her relatives immersed her ashes in the Krishna River near Beechupally temple in Itikyala mandal on Monday. The victim’s father, who became emotional while performing the rites, said he had planned to visit the Jogulamba temple along with his family earlier, but now was forced to visit the district to immerse his daughter’s ashes.