raju

Raju’s death and version of suicide, in Telangana on September16 , is questioned by human rights activists, women groups, public spirited lawyers as also by the mother and wife of the killed suspect.

It may not be just a coincidence, but dead body was found within a day after a Minister declared that certainly the suspect will be ‘encountered’ following the demand of PCC President for ‘encounter’.

Now Telangana High Court responded to a PIL on the issues involved.

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Article 21 says “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to a procedure established by law.”

Now gradually the narration of suicide is replacing the much discredited ‘encounter’ theory.

And instant justice became popular demand of uneducated masses, MP and a Minister also. The credibility of system-based justice is questioned by incredible support to encounters and godly punishment to suspects.

He is judged by media, social media with tacit support of police as also by the parents of victim. Pallamkonda Raju encountered the speeding Konark Express, allegedly. This encounter resulted in suicide, making everyone happy except his family and rule of law.

His death and version of suicide is questioned by human rights activists, women groups, public spirited lawyers as also by the mother and wife of the killed suspect.

It is not a routine story of ‘encounter’ but an excellent narrative of suicide. The so-called ‘suicide’ of Raju on September 16 is now a big sensation in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, with all Telugu media channels and social media reporting various stories about the dead body on railway track.

It may not be just a coincidence, but dead body was found within a day after a Minister declared that certainly the suspect will be ‘encountered’ following the demand of PCC President for ‘encounter’.

Telangana High Court responded to PIL and ordered an inquiry by judicial officer into the suspicious death of Raju, the strong suspect in rape and murder of a child of six years.

Even while the Supreme Court-ordered probe was going on against the alleged false encounter by police of the suspects of raping Dr Disha in Hyderabad couple of years ago, in a different case of rape and murder of a girl of 6 years in (Singareni Colony, near Saidabad) Hyderabad, a suspect, Raju (30) was found dead on railway track near Nashkal Railway station on Hyderabad- Kazipet route four days ago raising various doubts around the widely propagated police story of ‘suicide’.

On September 9, a girl who was left at home, while her parents went out to see Vinayak Mandapam, was allegedly lured by neighbour Raju with chocolates who took her to his house, where she was found raped and murdered after some time.

The DGP of Telangana police wrote on Twitter handle “declared after the verification of identification marks on deceased body”.

Hyderabad East Zone Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ramesh confirmed the death of the accused Pallakonda Raju. He has further told media: “I am told that the police were chasing him and not heeding to the warning, he jumped in front of a train“.

Minister K T Rama Rao also confirmed the death on his Twitter handle. It may be recalled that KTR has tweeted a few days before that Raju was caught by police, but immediately withdrew it by another tweet regretting for his earlier wrong information.

While the mother and wife and some organisations did not believe the suicide theory, many members of society positively responded on social media, saying justice was done to the victim’s parents.

Raju’s mother while speaking to media reporters told that police called the family members to police station, collected some details from them and left them in Uppal area of Hyderabad yesterday evening. She alleged that when Raju was caught three days ago but the superior officers ordered to encounter him, and that he was made to run before ‘suicide’. She said that police came to our house only after he was caught as part of their build up for the ‘suicide’ narration. She also questioned ‘ how do I believe that he is my son, unless his body is shown to me’.

His wife Mounika also alleged that her husband’s death was not because of suicide, but he was killed and thrown on the track. Meanwhile TV9 channel reported that couple of linemen saw Raju near track, noticing the presence of linemen, he had hidden himself behind nearby trees, but came out after some time. TV9 claimed that he jumped before Konark express despite linemen shouting not to do so.

Some local people at Saidabad, area of Hyderabad and parents of victim girl demanded that the ‘suspect’ Raju should be ‘encountered’. Very interestingly, the PCC President and MP Revanth Reddy also vociferously asked for encountering the rapist, even before any enquiry was done or accused him formally through a charge-sheet for rape and murder. Stunningly, the Labour Minister of Telangana N Malla Reddy declared that police would catch the suspect and assured that he would be definitely ‘encountered’.

Shocked by these comments against rule of law by two elected representatives of two main political parties, a delegation of women and activists from Women and Transgender Organisation Joint Action Committee (WT-JAC) and human rights organisations in Telangana represented by V Sandhya (Progressive Organization of Women), K Satyavati (Editor, feminist magazine Bhumika), K Sajaya, independent journalist and social activist, Devi (feminist and cultural activist), Ambika (feminist activist), Sumitra (child rights activist), and Syed Bilal (Human Rights Forum), assembled near the residence of the acting chief justice of Telangana High Court, and sought his immediate intervention in the wake of these ‘disturbing and irresponsible public statements’.

They further said: “Instead of demanding that the police investigate the crime on a war footing and bring the culprit to the Court, the Minister and the MP have demanded for an unconstitutional remedy of execution by way of ‘encounter’. Being part of the government,  such statements are not just utterly irresponsible but also encourage impunity among the police and lawlessness among the people”.

They recalled that in Dec, 2019, this Hon’ble Court was kind enough to intervene in the matter of the extra-judicial killings of four accused/suspects in the ‘Disha’ case, some of who are reported to be minors. Pursuant to the directions of the Apex Court, a Judicial Commission headed by Justice V Sirpurkar is inquiring into the facts and circumstances that led to the gunning down of four young men by the Shadnagar police, two years back.

After breaking news of death, these organisations submitted another representation on Sep 20 Monday, saying: “We have genuine concerns about the reported ‘disappearance’ and sudden ‘death’ of the accused in the current Singareni colony case as well. Within a week of the rape and murder of the child, the accused Mr. Pallakonda Raju (30) ‘went missing’, the police launched a ‘manhunt’ with huge prize money to trace him and now suddenly he is ‘found dead’.

The organisations requested the Court to immediately intervene and monitor the case to ensure that the guidelines issued and procedures established by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in PUCL versus State of Maharashtra in its judgement dated 23rd Sep, 2014 as well as the guidelines issued from time to time by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) are fully followed.

They apprehended that any delay at this stage in issuing an order by this Court will further enable state authorities to conduct a hurried post mortem and ensure that the body is cremated, thereby compromising the facts. They sought urgent directions to the Principal Secretary, Department of Home, State of Telangana to halt the cremation and preserve the body of the accused Mr. Pallakonda Raju, until further orders and submit the CCTV footage of the scene of death to the Court, formation of a special team of forensic experts and autopsy surgeons from outside Telangana (preferably AIIMS), to undertake an independent post-mortem and video-graphing of the post-mortem, as per NHRC guidelines, ensure an immediate inquest of the deceased person Mr. Pallakonda Raju by a judicial magistrate, under Sec 176 (1) (a), as per procedure established in the Code of Criminal Procedure.

They also wanted a direction to the Principal Secretary, Department of Home, State of Telangana to transfer the investigation into the case of the rape and murder of the 6-year-girl to a specially constituted, independent team of senior police officials for a fair and impartial investigation, in the interests of justice and requested the court to monitor the probe into original crime of 9th September and disappearance and death of Raju. But surprisingly, before any response came on this representation the body of Raju was cremated.

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(see more on the old ‘Disha’ case…

https://countercurrents.org/2019/12/collective-murder-instincts/)

Courtesy: Hans News Service |  21 Sep 2021

Author Dr. Madabhushi Sridhar Acharyulu was a Professor at Nalsar University of Law in Hyderabad, former Central Information Commissioner and presently is Dean & Professor, School of Law, Mahindra University, Hyderabad.

Email:professorsridhar@gmail.com


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