Four people have been taken into custody a day after the body of a young veterinarian - badly burnt - was found near Hyderabad. The police suspect that she may have been raped before she was murdered. Disturbing details have emerged as the police are trying to piece together the details and arrest the culprits.
The 26-year-old veterinarian had gone missing on Wednesday night after she left from her workplace and was headed home. Investigations revealed that on her way back, she stopped at a toll booth, parked her bike there and took a cab to visit a dermatologist.
In a CCTV clip, she is seen on a bike near a toll booth in Shamshabad, on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
When she returned to the toll booth at around 9 pm on Wednesday, she found her two-wheeler punctured.
On Thursday morning, her clothes, handbag, footwear and a liquor bottle were found by the police near the toll booth where she had parked her bike. Her body was found with 70 per cent burns under a bridge, in neighouring Ranga Reddy district, 30 km from the toll booth.
The body was identified by her family with the help of a locket of Lord Ganesh that she was wearing. It has been handed over to her family after post-mortem.
The police suspect that she may have been strangled, wrapped in a blanket, and she on fire after kerosene or petrol was poured on her.
The bike was spotted about 10 km away from where her body was found.
The police suspect the vehicle was deliberately punctured by the culprits to trap the woman. Two truck drivers could be behind the crime, news agency IANS reported, quoting sources.
The veterinarian had last spoken to her sister at around 9:15 pm on Wednesday. The phone call audio suggests someone had offered to get the flat tyre fixed. The woman reportedly told her sister that she was feeling scared as there some truck drivers near her.
Among those detained are the driver and the cleaner of a truck. They were caught on a highway.
A tyre repair shop owner, meanwhile, told police that a young man brought a bike between 9:30 p.m. and 10 pm on Wednesday.
"I even asked her to come away leaving the vehicle. When I called after some time, her phone was switched off," the sister said.
Telangana Minister KT Rama Rao on Friday condemned the incident and promised to personally monitor the case.
"On behalf of the central government, I am talking to state government officials. The Telangana DGP is also coming to Delhi today and he will meet me. Those who were involved in the crime should be socially boycotted and no lawyer should represent them," junior Home Minister G Kishan Reddy said today.
Condemning the crime, the National Commission for Women said it was sending a member to Hyderabad to help the woman's family and meet the police.
(With inputs from IANS)