HYDERABAD: In the rape and murder of a six-year-old girl at Saidabad and in another case of kidnap and rape of a three-and-half-years-old girl at Dammaiguda under Jawaharnagar police station limits in July, the police couldn’t lay their hands on the accused till they themselves ended up in front of the cops. However, in the sensational case of rape-and-murder of the veterinarian at Shadnagar in 2019, the offence was cracked within 24 hours with all of the accused being arrested. In the cases reported this year at Dammaiguda and Saidabad, the police were heavily reliant on technology, leaving them clueless for around a week.
However, in the 2019 case, the police first gathered clues on the ground, combined them with technical evidence, which helped them build the case and eventually solve it. In the Dammaiguda case, Rachakonda police arrested the accused Abhiram Dass, 40, a migrant worker from Odisha, only after he sexually assaulted another nine-year-old girl in the same locality.
Even as multi-disciplinary teams from the entire Rachakonda Police Commissionerate were on a hunt for Dass, they could only get him after the second offence and with the clues provided by the victim and her mother. The cops found the accused while analysing the CCTV footage related to the second offence. With this, cops launched a search operation in the forest area, after which he was finally caught.
A similar pattern was noticed in the Saidabad case where the accused Palakonda Raju left the cops clueless for almost a week, despite the entire State police force and other departments hunting for him, till he reportedly died by suicide. Even in the Dammaiguda case, Abhiram gave them sleepless nights till he committed another offence in the same locality. In both cases, if not for the accused themselves landing in the police net, their arrest would have been delayed.
Raju dodged the police by avoiding using his mobile phone and CCTV cameras but managed to travel around 150 km before dying by suicide. Details on how he managed to evade the cops till his death is still being probed. In 2019, the police first got a clue from a tyre puncture shop owner, who stated that two persons had visited him with the victim and her scooter to get a punctured tyre repaired. The next day, even before the news of the murder spread, a petrol pump employee alerted the police about a suspicious person purchasing petrol in a plastic can. Later, the police traced him from the CCTV footage, with the registration number of the lorry in which the accused carried the body and then matched it with the footage at the petrol pump.