JANGAON: In a development that rocked the entire Telangana, the police on Thursday found the highly mutilated body of Palakonda Raju, accused of rape and murder of a six-year-old girl at Saidabad in Hyderabad, on the railway tracks near Station Ghanpur in the district. The body was identified with the help of the tattooed letters spelling Mounika, which is Raju’s wife’s name, on his left forearm, and also his long hair. His face was completely disfigured and his body lay between two rails of the railway track near Rajaram bridge.
While Hyderabad Commissioner of Police Anjani Kumar said Raju died by suicide by throwing himself before a train, Raju’s wife Mounika alleged that he was killed by the police in cold blood and his body was thrown across the railway tracks to make it look like suicide. “I am positive that it was the police who killed my husband. They also detained us and took our signatures on white papers. When we asked them the reason, they did not give any proper reply,” Mounika said.
Raju’s death occurred at a time when the judicial commission headed by former Supreme Court judge VS Sirpurkar was inquiring into the death of four youths accused in the rape and murder of a veterinarian, in an encounter with police in December 2019. As news of Raju’s death spread, it led to a commotion at Signareni Colony in Saidabad where he and the victim lived. News of the death sparked off celebrations in the colony. A combination of joy over his death and indignation and outrage over his crime galvanised youths in the area to pull down Raju’s house even as Home Minister Md Mahmood Ali visited the parents of the victim and handed them a cheque for Rs 20 lakh.
Locals near Station Ghanpur and other areas rushed to the spot where the body was found and by mid-afternoon, a very large crowd had gathered there. Throughout the day, social media platforms were abuzz with gory pictures of Raju’s body. Station Ghanpur SI Ramesh and his team, after examining the body and the area, said: “The tattoo marks, hairstyle, and other physical features are similar to that of Raju.”
Warangal CP Dr Tarun Joshi said the railway key men who go on rounds to check the tracks noticed Raju trying to end his life and shouted at him to move as a train was approaching. But Raju did not heed them and threw himself before the train. A special police team from Hyderabad arrived to obtain more information.
According to Kazipet government railway police inspector M Ram Murthy, a case was registered under Section 174 of the CrPC. Eyewitness Bhukya Suresh told Express: “We noticed a man walking between the rails and tried to question him what he was doing there. He then moved away from tracks into the field, but came back again after a while and sat on the rails for some time,” Suresh said. According to Suresh, Raju, noticing them, tried to escape. Meanwhile, the Konark Express was on its way, and Raju threw himself before it, ending his life.