GUNTUR: Fifty-five-year-old rickshaw-puller, A Subbaiah, accused of raping a nine-year-old girl at Dachepalli in Guntur district, has committed suicide. His body was found hanging from a tree near Amaralingeswara Swamy temple in Daida village under Gurazala mandal of the district on Friday afternoon.“The family of the accused have identified the body and it has been shifted to the government hospital for post-mortem examination,” said Home Minister N Chinna Rajappa at a press conference which was also addressed by DGP M Malakondaiah.
The incident, which took place on Wednesday, led to a huge public outrage. People took to streets in protest on Thursday and blocked vehicular traffic passing through Dachepalli for several hours. Tension continued till Friday morning with a large number of people continuing their protests. Additional forces were deployed to prevent any untoward incident.
Initially, relatives of the accused refused to take his body for cremation and officials contemplated handing it over to Dachepalli panchayat officials. Meanwhile, tense moments were again witnessed in the village when relatives of the victim demanded that the body be handed over to them, suspecting that it was not a case of suicide, but murder. However, the police convinced them saying that Subbaiah had indeed committed suicide. Later, the body was handed over to the family members who performed the last rites in Gurazala itself amid police security.
It is learnt that a few hours before his death, the accused spoke to one of his relatives and expressed remorse. He told his relative that he had committed an unpardonable crime. When he was asked to reveal his whereabouts, he reportedly said he was close to death.Earlier, 17 police teams were formed to search for the accused and even drone cameras were employed to search for him along the banks of River Krishna, suspecting that he might have attempted suicide.
The Police department also engaged boats to search the area abutting the riverbank .
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who directed the officials to intensify search operations, announced Rs 5 lakh financial assistance to the victim’s family. He will be visiting the victim at the Government General Hospital in Guntur on Saturday.The Chief Minister also called for a protest rally in Vijayawada on Monday to condemn crime against women and children “Those who think of resorting to any crime against women, should understand that they can never ever have their way,” the Chief Minister said while interacting with relatives of the victim later in the day.
Home Minister N Chinna Rajappa visited the victim at the GGH in Guntur and assured the family members of justice. Later, he visited Dachapell to review the situation.YSRC party MLA RK Roja and others visited the victim at the hospital and enquired about the medical treatment. Condemning the incident and blaming the State Government’s inept handling of law and order in the State, Roja staged a protest for some time at the hospital.