Hyderabad, Sep 16 (PTI) A man wanted in the case of rape and murder of a six-year old girl here allegedly died by suicide with his body being found on a railway track in Jangaon district on Thursday, police said.
The incident occurred two days after Telangana Labour Minister Ch Malla Reddy had on September 14 said that the accused in the case would be caught and that there should be an "encounter" against him.
Family members of the accused claimed he might have been killed.
The girl was allegedly raped and murdered in a neighbouring house at Saidabad here on the evening of September 9.
Based on preliminary investigation, a senior police official said the accused P Raju, aged around 30, was found walking on the track by gangmen, who asked him to move aside from the track, but he did not and was hit by a passenger train at around 8.45 AM.
"This looks to be a clear case of suicide as of now," Warangal Police Commissioner Tarun Joshi said at the death spot, about 120 Kms from here.
After being informed, police reached the spot and after verification established the identity of the deceased, based on the tattoos on his hands and some other marks to be that of the accused.
The family members have also identified the body, the Police Commissioner said.
“As the massive manhunt operation was underway, the suspect felt that now he cannot runaway from the police and that is why out of frustration he committed suicide," the Hyderabad Police chief Anjani Kumar said here.
The family members of the accused, who were shell-shocked after coming to know about their kin’s death, claimed that he might have been killed.
"He was killed. What is left now? Initially, it was said that he was caught three days ago... Yesterday and day before yesterday, they said you will be released only if your son is caught or you will also be sent to jail. They said order has come from above to shoot him. We overheard when they were talking," mother of the accused Raju told reporters.
Officials collected details from them on Wednesday and let them off at night.
When asked if he was caught, they replied in the negative, she said.
"It appears they have killed my son in the morning. They found him three days ago. But, he was hidden somewhere. They sent us and killed him in the morning," the woman said.
Weeping inconsolably, Raju's wife said he used to beat her up in an inebriated state, but treat her well when he was sober.
She sought to know how they would survive now as there is no male member left at home.
"The way justice has been done to them, justice should be done to us also. We are three women. There are no men in our home. How do we women survive?" she asked.
She too claimed that "police killed (him)." The body was shifted to MGM government hospital in Warangal for post-mortem. The Railway Police registered a case and further investigations were on.
Earlier, Telangana Director General of Police (DGP) M Mahendar Reddy tweeted: "The accused of "Child Sexual Molestation and murder @ Singareni Colony, found dead on the railway track, in the limits of StationGhanpurPoliceStation. Declared after the verification of identification marks on deceased body." In a tweet, Telangana IT Minister KT Rama Rao said, "Just been informed by @TelanganaDGP Garu that the beast who raped the child has been traced & found dead on a railway track at station Ghanpur." Telugu film star and former Union Minister K Chiranjeevi tweeted; "Let’s not allow such dastardly acts to recur and let's do whatever it takes towards this goal!" The incident last week triggered protests by residents of the locality who had raised slogans and demanded justice and quick arrest of the culprit.
Police had then said the accused had allegedly kidnapped the girl after she came out of her house and took her to his room and sexually assaulted her and later killed her. The accused had gone absconding and the girl's body was later found in the house.
Police had intensified search operations after forming several teams to nab the accused even as Hyderabad Police announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh to any person who gives information leading to his arrest.
On Thursday, Telangana Ministers Mohammed Mahmood Ali and Satyavathi Rathod met the deceased girl's parents and offered them a cheque for Rs 20 lakh as ex-gratia.
The ministers also assured support and help from the state government and stringent action against the culprit as per law and justice rendered as expeditiously possible.
Meanwhile, a delegation from Women and Transgender Organisations Joint Action Committee (WT-JAC) and human rights organisations submitted a memorandum to the Acting Chief Justice Ramachandra Rao requesting the court, among other issues, to the government to halt the cremation and preserve the body of the deceased Raju, until further orders and submit the CCTV footage of the scene of death to the Court.