VIJAYAWADA: The brutal kidnap and murder of 10-year-old Naga Vaishnavi posed a huge challenge to the police to bring the murderers to justice. Considering circumstantial evidence one could not be mistaken for thinking that the case was going to be a cake walk for police to crack. But that was not to be. The police had to use all their skills to make a water-tight case against the culprits.
“Though everyone pointed their fingers at some members of the family of Prabhakar, the girl’s father, we still needed solid evidence. We started investigating the case from the scratch and arrested the killers in just four days. We spent sleepless nights in tracing the body of the girl and gathering foolproof evidence,” said investigation officer (IO) of the case, K Shravan Kumar, sharing his experiences with TNIE on phone.
“What helped us in identifying the body of Vaishnavi was the remains of her diamond ear stud found in the furnace where the culprits burnt the body, and the call record data of the trio led us to its location,” said Shravan Kumar.
Shravan was circle inspector of Satyanarayanapuram police station at the time when the sensational murder took place and now he is working as Additional Commissioner of Police (ACP) in the traffic wing.
“I received information through Police Control Room and rushed to the spot in minutes. The crime scene appeared brutal. Sub-inspector A Subba Rao and I got into the job of collecting clues from the crime scene,” he explained.
“Based on cell phone signal dump system, we identified the phone number belonging to Prabhakar’s brother-in-law. By collecting his call record details, we could trace the signal location of the phones of the other two culprits. Based on the signal location we zeroed in on a factory located in Auto Nagar in Guntur and found the charred remains of Naga Vaishnavi,” he added. The very next day, the trio were arrested at Prakasam barrage.
According to witnesses, two of the three killers, Morla Srinivasa Rao and Yemparala Jagadeesh, followed the car in which Vaishnavi was going and pelted stones on the vehicle forcing the driver to stop. They stabbed the driver to death when he resisted their attempts to take away the girl.
During the investigation, Srinivasa Rao, Jagadeesh and Pandi Venkateswara Rao confessed to their crime and told the police that killing the girl was not a part of their original plan.
“Their intention was to blackmail Prabhakar and get some properties registered in his first wife Palagani Venkateswaramma’s name. The accused are brothers of Venkateswaramma and developed grudge against Prabhakar for neglecting them. But their plan went haywire when the girl died of suffocation,” Shravan Kumar said.
Reacting to the court judgment sentencing the three to life imprisonment, Shravan expressed his happiness and said their efforts paid off at last. “The three accused were even subjected to narcoanalysis test. But eight years is a long period to punish the killers,” he said.