‘Helpless’ cops take heat for failed hunt of Saidabad rape suspect Raju

Sources say police focused mainly on CCTV footage and ignored searching places such as toddy compounds, which tipplers frequently visit, or construction sites

Published: 17th September 2021 08:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th September 2021 08:10 AM   |  A+A-

People console the family members of the six-year-old girl who was raped and murdered at Saidabad in Hyderabad

People console the family members of the six-year-old girl who was raped and murdered at Saidabad in Hyderabad | VINAY MADAPU

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Even as news of the most wanted fugitive, Palakonda Raju’s suicide on a rail track at Station Ghanpur on Thursday morning spread, several questions are being raised on the “helplessness” of the police in nabbing him. The police department had announced a reward of `10 lakh for information about Palakonda Raju and said that they were unable to zoom in on his whereabouts despite analysing footage from CCTVs across the city.

An important question that the Police Department, which has cracked several sensational crimes within hours, now faces is how it could not lay its hands on Raju, accused in the rape and murder of a six-year-old girl. Perhaps he was much ahead of the police, leaving them groping in the dark. Surprisingly, the suicide occurred almost at the same time when Ministers Satyavathi Rathod and Mahmood Ali handed over a cheque of `20 lakh cheque to the victim’s parents. Hyderabad CP Anjani Kumar told mediapersons that a massive hunt had been launched across the State to arrest him.

“The accused realised and understood that he cannot run away from police and committed suicide,” he said. Initially, after the victim’s body was found in Raju’s house on the night of September 9 at Saidabad, police deputed special teams to nab him. As is the usual process, they scanned CCTVs in the surrounding areas and started tracking him through technical means. The question arises if too much focus on technology led the police to miss out on groundwork. They could have better results if they had been sent to prospective places where Raju could have taken shelter.

Inquiries later revealed that Raju was a construction worker and an alcoholic. However, searches at toddy compounds or other shady places which tipplers frequently visit and construction sites were intensified only this week, according to sources. “This incident is a lesson for the police to not completely rely on technology, but focus on improving human intelligence, and more particularly groundwork, like in the past days,” a senior police official said.


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