Hyderabad: About six years ago in 2015, the Nakkalagandi project was launched under the stewardship of chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao with an aim to supply drinking and irrigation water to the Deverakonda and Munugode Assemblies. One of the families which reportedly lost their lands was that of Chaithra’s*, the six-year-old girl who was found raped and murdered on September 9.
“We lost our agricultural land and our home due to the project and hence shifted to this colony. Kashtalu chala unde mundununche (There were many difficulties from before),” said Sharan*, the maternal grandfather of the now deceased six-year-old child.
As fate would have it, the loss of land and the shifting was followed by the loss of their child to a heinous crime. A week since the crime, the family belonging to the Lambadi (Scheduled Tribe) community is not assuaged even by the death of the rape accused.
Jhansi*, the mother of the six-year-old child, sat shell shocked on Thursday, as her sister-in-law gently pushed morsels of jonne (jawar) rotte into her mouth. After every two mouthfuls or so, Jhansi raised her hand in protest but too tired to argue, let herself be fed.
At one point when the one year old son (the victim’s younger brother) approached Jhansi, she mindlessly unbuttoned her blouse and allowed the child to feed on her left breast.
Jhansi had just returned from the hospital after being treated for exhaustion. Despite, the anger and rage simmering in the locality, nobody mustered enough strength to speak to the mother as she silently stared into vacant space, chewing on her food mechanically.
Anger still simmering amongst Singareni colony families:
On Thursday afternoon, anger in the colony however continued despite the death of the accused P Raju. He is alleged to have taken his own life by jumping in front of a train in Ghanpur station of Janagaon district. The city police has however not confirmed as to how Raju has died. The accused was not found by the cops even a week after the incident, despite repeated attempts.
The paternal grandmother of the victim however remained unmoved by the accused’s demise and further remarked that until the body was produced before her for identification, she was unwilling to believe that he actually passed away.
“Our child was so timid that she would cover her eyes during horror movies. That monster killed her. The least the police can do for us is to show us his body,” she added. This sentiment was echoed by Sharan as well who stated that neither he nor his family wanted any money from the government. All they wanted was the accused’s body to be produced before them.
Sharan showed this reporter the plot in which the accused resided. “That is where we found my grand daughter’s body,” he remarked as he angrily threw a stone at the mentioned spot. The entire house was earlier demolished by incensed protestors.
“Even the kurkure packets she had with her were found near the bed,” Sharan added.
The crowd surrounding the grandfather informed Siasat.com that if the police had allowed them, they would have found the child’s body earlier and perhaps she would have survived.
The accused P Raju was supposedly an alcoholic and locals also stated that he worked as a labourer. A local resident Panduranga informed Siasat.com that the residents compelled the unwilling police to open the house of the accused and founded the child’s body soaked in blood. “He was so horrible that even his wife ran away from him,” Pandurang added.
Note: (*) Names have been changed to protect the identity of the family.