Hyderabad: A wall clock in the office of Abdullapurmet Tahsildar has helped investigators determine the time of attack on Ch. Vijaya Reddy and ascertain the sequence of incidents before and after the official was burnt to death.
Vijaya Reddy, tahsildar of Abdullapurmet mandal, was attacked by accused K. Suresh within her office. He poured kerosene on the official and set her ablaze, leading to her death on the office premises itself. The attack also resulted in the death of her driver K. Gurunatham and caused injuries to others.
Investigators were initially unsure of the time the accused walked into the office of the Tahsildar. “During our inspection, a non-functional wall-clock was noticed at the scene of crime. We found that the clock, made of plastic, had got exposed to heat after the curtains close to it caught fire when the officer was set ablaze. The hands of the clock had partially melted, indicating 1.55. This gave us the clue that the crime had taken place about five to 10 minutes before the clock stopped functioning,” disclosed an official associated with the investigation.
Investigators are suspecting that the accused also mixed petrol in the kerosene. “Kerosene causes heavy smoke and its flames last longer. Petrol burns quickly but causes more damage. Samples containing traces of fuel have been collected from 30 articles, including the two-litre plastic container in which the fuel was carried,” said the official.
Surprisingly, there were no fire extinguishers on the premises. The two CCTV cameras, including the one installed inside the tahsildar’s chamber, were non-functional. However, the cameras installed at nearby establishments have captured accused Suresh walking away from the scene with burn injuries.
Rachakonda Commissi-onerate official said, “The family members of the accused and some villagers are also being questioned as part of the investigation,” he added.
Revenue staff threaten strike
The Association of Reve-nue employees and officers on Tuesday cautioned the state government of direct action on the lines of the agitation launched by RTC staff if it fails to consider their demands at the earliest.
Association leaders V. Lachi Reddy, S. Ramulu, G. Upender Rao, Sudha-kar, N. Lakshminarayana and A Balnarasaiah said in a joint statement said that the brutal killing of MRO Vijaya Reddy has had a demoralising effect on revenue employees, who fear for their life now.
They demanded that the government should ensure that there would be no more such brutal attacks on revenue staff. Providing adequate security at all Revenue offices in the state should be on top of the agenda, they said.
Stating that they had already submitted their charter of demands to the special chief secretary, revenue department, they said that they wanted nothing short of a CBI probe into the killing of Vijaya Reddy.
Apart from support for her family, the government must severely punish her killer.
Apart from financial assistance, they wanted a job for a family member of Kamalla Gurunatham, the driver who died while trying to save Vijaya Reddy.
They said that as part of the boycott call given on Monday, revenue employees will stay away from duty on Wednesday and Thursday and observe relay hunger strike in front of Collectorates....