Spontaneous protests erupted across Telangana on Saturday over the alleged rape and murder of a 26-year-old veterinarian whose body, badly burnt, was found near Hyderabad on Thursday morning. Women’s groups and family members of the victim have sought death penalty for those involved in the shocking incident and accused the Telangana police of handling the case in an apathetic manner. Three policemen have been suspended for alleged negligence in filing the First Information Report (FIR) in the case. Four people — all truck drivers and cleaners in their twenties — have been arrested so far, and they are likely to be put on trial in a fast-track court.
Here are the top 10 developments in this story:
- Hundreds of people laid siege to the Shadnagar police station, where the four accused in the case were held, before being pushed back by baton-wielding cops. Protests were also taken out in Hyderabad, with many demanding a speedy trial in the case.
- “Sub-inspector M Ravi Kumar and head constables P Venu Gopal Reddy and A Sathyanarayana Goud were placed under suspension till further orders based on the findings of a detailed enquiry,” Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
- A woman who tried to demonstrate outside parliament in New Delhi alleged that she was allegedly manhandled by police when she refused to return home. The protester, Anu Dubey, was holding up a sign questioning why can’t she feel safe in her own country.
- Many politicians also expressed shock over the incident. “How anyone could subject another human to such terrible, unprovoked violence is beyond imagination. My thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family,” tweeted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan visited the woman’s relatives at their residence in Hyderabad to express her condolences on Saturday. A team from the National Commission for Women (NCW) had met them earlier in the day.
- The victim’s family has alleged police apathy in the case, claiming that they were sent from one station to another due to jurisdictional issues. They now want a speedy trial in the case, and have demanded that the accused not be allowed legal representation.
- Union Minister Kishan Reddy accused Telangana police of not showing any urgency in taking up the probe when the woman’s disappearance was brought to their notice. The NCW also alleged that the police’s response to the situation was “delayed”.
- The Cyberabad police are making arrangements to conduct the trial at a fast track court in Mahbubnagar. They are likely to seek the maximum punishment against the four accused, an action backed by the NCW.
- Police claim that the four accused had raped and murdered the woman in the span of an hour on Wednesday night. They set fire to her body under a culvert at Chattanpally around 2:30 am, a top officer said, adding that the arrests were made on the basis of “technical clues”.
- Shortly before the veterinarian went missing from the Shamshabad toll gate, she had called her sister to report that there were people behaving suspiciously around her. Police believe that the accused deliberately punctured the tyre of her two-wheeler in order to trap her.
- A second woman’s body was also found in a charred condition from an open area behind a temple in the same locality on Thursday. However, Shamshabad police are yet to confirm if the two incidents are linked.