Two women who were found dead along the banks of the Musi river in Hyderabad were allegedly killed for a pair of gold earrings, say Hyderabad police. The case was cracked within a span of one week thanks to CCTV footage from locations close to the crime scene.
The bodies of two women were found with injuries to their head near the Musi River on January 22. Police say they were allegedly murdered by Ankur Giri, a GHMC sweeper who is also a priest, who is now in police custody as the prime accused.
Ankur Giri is a resident of Petlaburj, Charminar area and used to frequent a toddy shop at Dathu Nagar at Kanchanbagh. It was at this toddy shop where he first met the two sisters, 50-year-old Yadamma and her 45-year-old sister Sumithra. Both the women were labourers and residents of Ayodhya Nagar colony at Balapur X roads.
Police say Giri met the two women sometime after 6 pm on January 22 and developed a friendship with them by claiming to have spiritual powers as he was a priest. Police after reviewing CCTV footage of the toddy shop said he even showed them videos on his phones to make the two women believe his version. All the three consumed two bottles of toddy each at the shop and then boarded an auto.
According to the police, the accused approached the two women with the intention of stealing the gold earrings worn by the women.
Giri then allegedly lured the two women to an isolated place near pillar number 118 through Pisal Banda, Aramgarh in an auto. He allegedly lured the women by promising to teach them a special pooja by applying turmeric powder on their faces, say police.
The three then consumed toddy again on the banks of the Musi river opposite to Ambience Fort, Attapur. Giri then asked the women to apply turmeric powder on their faces to which the women obliged. He then allegedly took a stone and beat the women on their heads till they were both dead.
After robbing the two bodies off the gold and a phone, Giri tied both the bodies using the saree of one of the victims. He then allegedly dragged both the bodies into the river and tried to drown the bodies by throwing a boulder on them.
It was M Surendar Singh, an agri labourer who cultivates Meti leaves along the Musi river bank who stumbled upon the bodies of the two women when he went to the river to draw water for his plants. Surendar felt something touch his feet and upon inspection among the bushes with a stick found the bodies of Yadamma and Sumithra.
Soon, the police were called and the bodies were taken out. The police established the identities of the two women the same day when the families of the women approached the police after they put out alerts on the two bodies.
"Over 50 people were questioned as part of the investigation and the tips offered by the public were used to analyse CCTV footage. The CCTV camera footage of the surrounding 5km radius of the toddy shop was also analysed,â€ť said Anjini Kumar, Hyderabad police commissioner speaking to media. â€śA municipal worker gave the key evidence when the task force approached the accused they found the deceasedâ€™s mobile phone and gold earrings,â€ś he added.
The case has been solved in record time, said Kumar who added that 99% of criminal cases in Hyderabad are being detected using CCTV footage. The police now intend to increase the number of CCTV cameras from its present 2.5 lakh to 5 lakh in Hyderabad to make Hyderabad a zero crime city.