Sent from one police station to another: Priyanka Reddy's father
Days after the shocking rape and murder of a 26-year-old veterinary doctor on the outskirts of Hyderabad, her family has claimed that the police delayed the investigation. The victim's father has said that they were sent from one police station to another on Wednesday night, when the 26-year-old went missing. The next morning, her charred body was found from Shadnagar. Here are more details.
Reddy's father said the family set out to search for the veterinarian at around 11 pm. Her last known location was the ORR toll plaza at Tondupally. When they couldn't find her, the family approached the police. The father said, "We went from one police station to another for more than half an hour. They couldn't decide if the case falls in their jurisdiction."
The victim's sister—the last person to speak to her—told NDTV, "When she called up first, I asked her if there was there an accident as she told me that she was scared. She narrated how the men took her bike, came back and told her repair shop was closed." She added, "She told them 'I can go', but they insisted on helping."
The sister added that when she called the veterinarian 15 minutes later, her phone was switched off. However, she didn't think much of it, as she assumed her battery had died. She was aware her sister left the home with 10% battery on her phone.
The sister was at work when she received the first call at 9:22 pm. Thereafter, she left her office in a corporate vehicle with a colleague to search for Reddy near the toll plaza. She assumed her sister would be stranded there still, but couldn't find her. The father added that he, too, looked for his daughter till as late as 3 am.
Earlier, the victim's mother had also accused the police of delaying the investigation by over three hours. She told Bangalore Mirror, "[The police] repeatedly asked if she had an affair, and later directed us to another police station citing jurisdictional issues."
The victim had parked her scooter at the ORR toll plaza and took a shared cab to a clinic in Gachibowli on Wednesday. When she returned to the toll plaza, her scooter was punctured and strangers offered to help her. She called her sister at 9:22 pm, however, she went incommunicado thereafter. Her body was found the next morning, 25 km away in Shadnagar.
The police have arrested four accused: Mohammed Areef (26), Jollu Shiva (20), Jollu Naveen (20) and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu (20). They have reportedly confessed and sent to 14 days judicial remand. The accused deliberately deflated the tire of the victim's scooter to trap and ambush her. They then gang-raped and murdered her, before dumping her body under a culvert in Shadnagar and setting it ablaze.
NewsBytes does not disclose the identity or photographs of victims of sexual assault, in line with Supreme Court guidelines. However, Dr. Reddy's case is unique as her name and photographs were widely published before sexual assault allegations in the case came to the fore.