Hyderabad: Raju Reddy (name changed), 56-year-old ex-convict, was sentenced to a lifetime in prison for the murder of his niece due to property quarrels.
In 2007, in a fit of rage, he was arguing with his niece about the Rs 3 crore worth agricultural land that is rightfully owned by Raju and his brother. The verbal argument became physical. The duo began to hit each other, and by accident Raju hit his niece hard enough for her to fall and hit her head on some stones. The niece died, and Raju was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment.
A degree holder, who earlier worked in Nallakunta Post Graduation Centre as a lab technician, put his education to good use inside the prison walls. Raju was petrified of going to jail because he claimed when he was younger he was told jails were dangerous places, filled with gangs and physical abuse. However, one week into jail, he began to realise that it was a place of reform not one of pain.
Raju said, “The prison gave educated people like me a chance to share our knowledge with those other inmates who were illiterate. One of the people I helped occasionally was Pradip, a boy who was in jail for being connected with the murder of a friend. I was honored to be a part of his studying and happy to see him now still pursuing his dreams.”
Raju spent seven years in jail, before the High Court lessened his sentence on the basis of the crime being accidental in nature. Upon his release, Raju made efforts to apologise to his family members....