M. Mahender Reddy, Telangana’s Director General of Police, dismissed Friday any doubts about Pallakonda Raju’s death. She is the sole accused in the rape- and murder of a six year-old girl.
Reporters were told by the police chief that Raju had committed suicide while riding on a train.
Mahender Reddy noted that seven eyewitnesses saw him crossing the track and getting under the train.
Eye-witnesses include two railway gangmen and 2-3 farmers, as well as two train engine drivers. The DGP stated that they have recorded their statements and that police are not allowed to lie. He stated that baseless accusations were unacceptable.
Raju, 30 years old, was found dead near Ghanpur station, Jangaon district, on Thursday. This happened a week after Raju had sexually assaulted, and killed, the minor girl at his Singareni Colony, Saidabad, in Hyderabad.
Raju was her neighbor on September 9th, and the victim’s body was found in his house.
This incident sparked massive public outrage, with politicians and some individuals calling for the execution of the perpetrator in an “encounter”.
Raju was the target of a massive manhunt across the entire state. For any information that leads to Raju’s arrest, the police offered a Rs 10 lakh reward.
Despite doubts from various quarters about the authenticity of the police version regarding Raju’s murder, the DGP clarified.
Raju’s relatives claim that police shot him dead after taking him into custody. Some organisations and individuals have expressed doubts over the police version. They claim that Raju was killed to hide the failure of the government to capture him right away after the incident.
Social media users have described his death to a “train encounter” by a section of netizens.
A civil liberties group also filed a Public Interest Litigation in Telangana High Court, expressing concern that Raju might have been killed while in police custody.