Pallakonda Raju, accused in the case of rape and murder of a six-year-old girl, was found dead on the railway track in Jangaon district on Thursday morning. According to police, he jumped before a moving train at a spot near Ghanpur station.
Raju was at large for a week after the heinous incident and cops had announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for information on his whereabouts.
Police suspect he ended his life fearing the consequences of his action. They said the body was found on the railway track near Nashkal village of Velair mandal, about 130 km from the city.
“Around 8.40 am, Raju is believed to have been crushed to death by Konark Express heading towards the city. The tattoos on his forearms confirmed his identity. We suspect that he came to know of the massive manhunt and the reward money announced by the police for clues on his present whereabouts, and decided to kill himself,” police said.
Police said railway keyman Kumar and his colleague Sarangapani who were inspecting the tracks noticed Raju near the Rajaram bridge. They asked him to get off the tracks. Raju went into the nearby bushes.
“At that time, we were not sure who he was and we continued with our work. After a few minutes, he jumped in front of the Konark Express and died on the spot. We informed this to our seniors and to the police,” Kumar said.
Hyderabad police commissioner Anjani Kumar said that he confirmed the identity of the accused by coordinating with the Warangal police. “We had thousands of cops deployed across the state to trace and nab him. He realised that he cannot run anymore and decided to die by suicide. A case was booked under Section 174 (death under suspicious circumstances) of the CrPC by the railway police and is probed as a suicide,” said the police commissioner.
Warangal police commissioner Tarun Joshi said it was a clear case of suicide. “We received a call at about 9.15 am that an unidentified body was found on the railway track. When the local sub-inspector visited the spot, he compared details in circulation regarding the features and identification marks of Raju and confirmed his identity. We informed the relatives of Raju about his death,” he said.
It is learnt that the police are yet to ascertain how Raju reached there. Raju’s native village is Kodakandla in Jangaon district but his father had migrated to Hyderabad a long time ago. It is suspected that he tried to escape to his native village.
Raju’s relatives went to MGM Hospital at Warangal and identified the body. “His activities since last Friday are being tracked. We learned that he wanted to go to Suryapet and then travelled to Jangaon,” police sources said.
Director-General of Police M. Mahendar Reddy took to Twitter to confirm the recovery of Raju’s body and stated, “#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 the deceased's body.”
IT minister K.T. Rama Rao Tweeted, “Just been informed by @TelanganaDGP Garu that the beast who raped the child has been traced & found dead on a railway track at station Ghanpur.”
A massive manhunt had been launched for Raju with a Wanted poster circulating around the state along with a promise of a reward of Rs 10 lakh. He was absconding since Friday after sexually assaulting and murdering a six-year-old girl in Saidabad. The city police had been deployed at all checkposts in the city and on the highway routes in the last three days to nab him.
The dead body was cremated by family members at the Pothananagar crematorium in Warangal on Thursday night. Raju's mother Veeramma lit the pyre.
After the post-mortem at the MGM hospital in Warangal, the police refused to hand over the body to the family. Fearing that taking the body to Hyderabad might lead to disturbances, the police asked the family to cremate the body at Warangal. After a prolonged argument, the family members gave in.
Earlier, when Raju's body was brought to the MGM mortuary, a large number of people gathered and a man attacked the ambulance, slapping it with his slippers. Police in large numbers were deployed as the post mortem was conducted.