In yet another disturbing detail that has emerged after the brutal rape and murder of a veterinarian in Hyderabad, officials of the Road Transport Authority (RTA) had nabbed the main accused, lorry driver Mohammed Areef, just two days before the crime was committed.
The police informed the media on Sunday that the accused was stopped by RTA officials close to Mahbubnagar while travelling from Gangavathi in Karnataka to Hyderabad.
The accused began his journey on November 24 and was stopped in the early hours of November 25. RTA officials found that Areef did not renew his driver's license since 2017.
However, the vehicle was never impounded. Investigation officials said that the accused, on instructions given by vehicle owner Srinivas Reddy, removed the motor cable to ensure that the truck would not start. As it failed to start, officials stepped away to continue their work.
"When we returned, the accused had fled with the truck," assistant motor vehicles inspector Chiranjeevi told the Times of India. The police said that near the Raikal toll plaza, the accused had sold some iron and steel scrap to a scrap dealer for around Rs 4,000, which was the money that they would eventually use to buy alcohol.
By the evening of November 26, the accused had reached Thondapalli village, on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The police said that by this time, all the four accused, which included Jollu Shiva (20), Jollu Naveen (20) and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu (20), besides Areef, had met.
On November 27 morning, as the police had asked them to move, they shifted their vehicle to the spot near the Outer Ring Road (ORR), where the crime was carried out later that same evening.
Telangana Chief Minister K .Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday directed officials to ensure that the accused are tried in a fast track court and the culprits get stringent punishment. The Chief Minister announced that the government would extend all the necessary help and support to members of the victim's family.
Police on November 29 arrested the four truck drivers and cleaners for the gruesome crime, which sent shock waves across the country and evoked huge public outrage. Protests were held in several parts of the country to demand death penalty to the accused.
The accused trapped the woman by deflating one of the tyres of her scooty after seeing her park there. She returned to Shamshabad at around 9 pm to pick up her parked vehicle and return home, when she found that a tyre had been deflated.
After raping and killing her nearby, the police said that they transported the body in the truck to dump it near Shadnagar town, about 28 km from Shamshabad, and burnt it.
A magistrate in Shadnagar town on Saturday remanded the accused to judicial custody for 14 days. They were later shifted to Cherlapally jail in Hyderabad.