Anantapur: In a strange case, a man who was believed dead for two years returned home on Saturday.
His reappearance has opened a Pandora’s box of alleged police coercion of the man’s family, a false case booked on an apparently innocent person and suppression of facts.
One Talari Srinivasulu, 36, went missing on March 19, 2017, from Hariyan Chervu in CK Palli mandal.
His wife Chilakamma and his father-in-law Muthyalappa lodged a complaint after two days, and the CK Palli police registered a case. Srinivasulu used to work at a rice mill at Kattakindapalli near CK Palli The couple has a son.
On April 4, the police found a body in the Gollapalli reservoir in Penukonda mandal. The police handed over the body to his family and insisted that it was Srinivasulu. Allegedly under political pressure, the police forced the family to accept the body despite Ms Chilakamma saying it was not that of her husband.
The family cremated the body and completed the traditional formalities with regard to Ms Chilakamma ‘losing’ her husband. She began working as a labourer.
A group of political leaders from CK Palli mandal allegedly mounted pressure on the police who registered a case against local rice mill owner Ganganna Obi Reddy and his brother Bhaskar Reddy.
The duo was later grilled by the police for their alleged role in Srinivasulu’s ‘murder’, based on a complaint by Ms Chilakamma.
On May 11, Mr Srinivasulu suddenly appeared at Dharmavaram. Locals identified him and informed the police.
CK Palli circle inspector Tejo Murthy and the tahsildar handed over Mr Srinivasulu to Ms Chilakamma and Mr Muthyalappa. The police has to now reopen the case of the body that was found in the lake and cremated, and consider afresh its case on the rice miller.
Asked why he had fled without informing anyone, Mr Srinivasulu said he had gone to Bengaluru to escape family and financial troubles.
He said he worked as a cleaner at a hotel. “Though I informed police that it was not my husband’s body, they forced me to take the body,” Ms Chilakamma, who was forced to live as a widow for two years, said.
Mr Obi Reddy said they had demanded a DNA test during the first interrogation because the body had plenty of hair while Mr Srinivasulu was tonsured two months before he went missing. He said his aide had seen Mr Srinivasulu at a cinema theatre in Dharmavaram on January 18, 2018.
They had collected CCTV footage from the theatre and handed it over to the then DSP of Dharmavaram but no action was initiated. Sources claimed the police had indeed conducted a DNA test on the body with that of Mr Srinivasulu’s father but it turned out to be negative, indicating that the body was not that of Mr Srinivasulu.
The police allegedly suppressed this report. A police officer said they will reopen the case to identify the unidentified dead body....