Hyderabad Cops take 4 in custody, deny delay

Priyanka had been killed by 10.20 pm, police says; body set on fire by 2.30 am.

Hyderabad: Two lorry drivers and two cleaners, all from Narayanpet district, were arrested on Friday for the gang-rape and murder of veterinarian doctor P. Priyanka Reddy.

The accused — Mohammed alias Areef (26), lorry driver of Jakkulare village; Jollu Shiva (20), cleaner; Jollu Naveen (20), driver; and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu (20) of Gudigandla village — were arrested on charges of gang rape, murder and tampering with evidence.

Police investigation revealed that Areef and Shiva were coming to the city from Raichur on November 26, in a lorry loaded with bricks. On the way, they picked up friends Naveen and Chennakdshavuku at Gangavathi and reached Thondupally toll plaza at around 9 am on Wednesday.

When Areef contacted the person whom the load was to be delivered, he did not get any response and so waited at the spot. The four got drunk by evening.

At around 6.13 pm, they saw Priyanka parking her bike near the toll-plaza. The moment they saw her they hatched a plan to sexually assault her. They talked about it and Shiva deflated her bike’s tyre.

The vet arrived at Thondully toll plaza at 9.13 pm. The accused were waiting for her. Areef approached her offering help with the tyre and, at around 9.28 pm, told Shiva to fix it. Shiva took the bike around and five minutes later said the shops were closed.

Meanwhile, Priyanka was scared and informed her sister over the phone. Immediately after the call, Areef dragged her to the compound wall and Naveen and Chennakeshavulu assisted him.

Shiva returned with the fixed tyre and noticing his friends in their criminal act allegedly joined in the gang rape, the Cyberabad police said. “While raping the woman, they smothered her by blocking her nose,” said Cyberabad commisssioner V.C. Sajjanar. “She died within minutes.”

At around 9.45 pm, they switched off her mobile phone and by 10.20 pm, they had killed her and loaded her body in the lorry cabin. Shiva and Naveen took the woman's bike and Areef and Chennakeshavulu got in the lorry, following the bike.

“At around 10.28 pm, both vehicles left the spot and went towards Shadnagar. They moved slowly to find a place to dispose of the body. Midway, at 1 am, they stopped at a petrol pump and tried purchasing petrol, but were denied. The accused then went ahead and bought petrol at another petrol pump,” Sajjanar said.

At around 2.30 am, the accused burnt the body under the culvert at Chattanpally and then abandoned the bike after removing its number plate, at Kothur village.

After that, the accused returned to the city, unloaded the bricks near Attapur and dispersed, the commissioner said, adding that based on the technical clues and the human intelligence, the accused were caught. Asked about the delayed investigation, he said that at around 11.25 pm, the victim’s sister, her mother and a driver reached the police station and complained. A head constable and a constable went with them to the toll plaza at 11.47 pm. The patrolling teams were alerted and the search continued till 3 am. After a formal complaint and registering a case, the teams along with the victim’s father continued the search till 5 am on Thursday.

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