Hyderabad: Almost 282 days after the arrest of serial killer Marri Srinivas Reddy, the fast-track court at Nalgo-nda on Thursday found him guilty in three offences, and awarded him the death penalty in two. In the third case, he was sentenced to life.
Hajipur, a village of nearly 300 families, wore a look of dread, with only the bereaved and their supporters sitting outside the gram panchayat office waiting from the morning till the special judge pronounced his verdict late in the evening.
Reddy (29) was a lift mechanic who was arrested on the allegations of kidnapping, rape and murder of two minor girls, and the kidnap and murder of a minor girl from the same village.
The accused was arrested by the police on April 30, when the police recovered the body of a missing 14-year-old girl from an abandoned well belonging to Reddy.
Srinivas Reddy confessed to the kidnap, rape and murder of the victim in April 2019.
During questioning he also confessed to the rape and murder of a 17-year-old in March 2019, and the kidnap and murder of an 11-year-old in 2015.
His modus operandi was to offer each victim a lift on his bike. On the village outskirts, he smothered them, raped them and then killed them. In the 2015 incident, the girl was smothered to death. He dumped two victims in an abandoned well he owned, and one victim in a nearby well.
After investigation, the police had filed a charge-sheet before the fast-track court at Nalgonda in August. The trial in the three cases began on October 28 and continued till Thursday.
The prosecution produced 101 witnesses and 164 exhibits against Srinivas Reddy mentioned the series of killings as the rarest of rare cases and had prayed for the death penalty to the accused.
On Wednesday, Srinivas Reddy, lodged at Nalgonda district jail, was produced before the court under high-security.
After hearing the arguments from the prosecution and defense counsel, the court convicted Srinivas Reddy and pronounced the quantum of punishment.
During trial, Srinivas claimed he was impotent and could not drive a bike. The prosecution produced medical certificates to prove he was not impotent, and eye-witnesses who saw him driving the bike.
The Rachakonda police deployed additional personnel at the village besides the police picket installed following the vandalising of Srinivas’s newly-constructed house. Public outrage forced his parents and elder brother to flee the village for good.