Hyderabad: A man accused of raping and killing a six-year-old girl in Hyderabad was found dead on a railway track this morning, two days after a Telangana minister warned of an “encounter”. Police say that the youth was trying to escape when he jumped in front of the train.
The Telangana police chief confirmed the news, sharing images of the man’s body on Twitter.
#AttentionPlease : The accused of "Child Sexual Molestation and murder @ Singareni Colony, found dead on the railway track, in the limits of #StationGhanpurPoliceStation.
Declared after the verification of identification marks on deceased body. pic.twitter.com/qCPLG9dCCE
— DGP TELANGANA POLICE (@TelanganaDGP) September 16, 2021
On Tuesday, Telangana Minister Malla Reddy had said the accused “will be killed in an encounter”.
“We will catch the rapist and murderer. There will be an encounter after he is caught,” Mr Reddy had told reporters in Hyderabad.
The police had released a photo of the suspect, Pallakonda Raju, and had announced a reward of ₹ 10 lakh for the 30-year-old, who was a neighbour of the child he allegedly raped and killed.
The girl was found dead inside Raju’s house on Sunday and he had been missing since.
The girl went missing from her home in Singareni Colony in Hyderabad on September 9. Her body was found in the house of the neighbour the next day, wrapped in a bedsheet. An autopsy confirmed that she was sexually assaulted and strangled.
Initial reports had said the accused had been arrested. But when it emerged that the information was false, there were massive protests and tension in the area, with residents of the colony demanding justice for the girl and her family. Some even demanded “an encounter”, referring to criminals shot dead by the police.
Minister KT Rama Rao, retracting his previous tweet announcing the arrest, sought public cooperation to catch him.
“Would like to correct my tweet below. I was misinformed that he was arrested. Regret the erroneous statement. The perpetrator is absconding and Hyderabad police has launched a massive manhunt for him. Let’s all make our best efforts to ensure he’s nabbed and brought to justice quickly,” Mr Rao posted, with a screenshot of his earlier tweet.
Would like to correct my tweet below. I was misinformed that he was arrested. Regret the erroneous statement
The perpetrator is absconding & @hydcitypolice has launched a massive manhunt for him
Let’s all make our best efforts to ensure he’s nabbed & brought to justice quickly https://t.co/IVz9Ri7jzn
— KTR (@KTRTRS) September 14, 2021
Several politicians, activists, and even film stars expressed anger and shock and social media users appealed for justice for the girl and her family.