Hyderabad: The sentencing of Marri Srinivas Reddy to death for the kidnap, rape and murder of minor girls brought cheers to the families of the victims and the villagers of Hajipur.
On Wednesday morning, the families and the villagers had gathered at the gram panchayat office and sat on the road holding posters demanding justice. Hajipur, a village housing about 270 families with 1,200 residents, wore a deserted look.
The anxious villagers were seen discussing about the some sensational cases of rape and murder including that of Nirbhaya and Samatha.
Soon after the reports of death penalty was out, the villagers celebrated by bursting crackers and distributing sweets among themselves.
“We are very happy with the judgment. We had faith in the judiciary. We are relieved with the judgment but we expect the punishment to be implemented within a week,” said the mother of a victim with tear-filled eyes.
“I had a son and a daughter. She was innocent and very young girl. Srinivas Reddy killed her ruthlessly, and he should be killed the same way to give justice to my daughter,” she said.
The father of another victim, who has three other daughters, said, “She was my youngest daughter. She was studious and highly aspiring.” He said that even after she went missing, her mobile phone was on for two days.
"My daughter was a degree first year student. She had been to the college to write the last examination. She didn’t return home. I thought she is alive and had gone somewhere, but the police told me that my daughter was also a victim of Srinivas Reddy," said the father of 17-year-old victim.
He added that if the body of the third girl to go missing had not been found, “the deaths of our daughters would have not even come to light.”
The sister of the 11-year-old victim said, "We are happy with the judgment. The day Srinivas Reddy is hanged is the day my sister will get justice and it will give us peace. His immediate hanging is what we demand."
Ms T Kavitha Vekatesh Goud, sarpanch of Hajipur, said that though the villagers were happy with the judgment, necessary measures should be taken to prevent recurrence of such incidents. Implementation of the punishment at the earliest will make the victims' families happier.
“After the incidents came to light, an additional bus service has been provided to the village. Liquor sale has been banned in the village and the public has supported the initiative,” Ms Goud said.