Telangana DGP dismisses doubts over death of rape-murder accused

Telangana Director General of Police M. Mahender Reddy on Friday dismissed doubts being expressed over the manner of death of Pallakonda Raju, the only accused in the rape and murder of a six-year-old girl.

The police chief told reporters that there were no doubts that Raju committed suicide by coming under a train.

Mahender Reddy pointed out that there were seven eyewitnesses who saw him walking on the track and coming under the train.

“Two railway gangmen, 2-3 farmers and two engine drivers of the train are the eye-witnesses. We have recorded their statements,” the DGP said adding that there is no need for police to lie. He said baseless allegations were inappropriate.

Raju, 30, was found dead on the railway tracks near Ghanpur station in Jangaon district on Thursday, a week after he sexually assaulted and killed the minor girl at his house in Singareni Colony in Saidabad area of Hyderabad.

The victim’s body was recovered from the house of Raju, who happened to be her neighbour, on the night of September 9.

The incident had triggered massive public outrage with some people and politicians, including a state minister, calling for killing the culprit in an “encounter”.

A massive manhunt was launched for Raju across the state. The police had also announced Rs 10 lakh reward for any information leading to his arrest.

The DGP made the clarification amid doubts being expressed in various quarters over the veracity of police version about Raju’s death.

Raju’s family members have alleged that police killed him after taking him into custody. Some people’s organisations have also expressed the doubt over police version and alleged that he was killed to cover the government’s failure in nabbing him immediately after the incident.

A section of netizens in social media have described his death as “train encounter”.

A civil liberties group has also filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in Telangana High Court expressing apprehensions that Raju was killed in police custody.