The case of a sub-inspector at Telangana's Kukunoorpally police station ending his life with his service revolver got murkier, as the police began 'leaking' information about his link with the death of a beautician in Hyderabad.
While SI Prabhakar Reddy was found dead at his police quarters on Wednesday, the Banjara Hills police recovered the body of 28-year-old Vijay Lakshmi alias Sirisha from a photo studio in Hyderabad's posh Film Nagar area on Tuesday.
The woman was a beautician, who also worked as an HR manager for the studio.
According to reports, Sirisha called her husband Satish Chandra at around 8:40pm on Monday and said that she would be home late. However, her husband did not hear from her later and her body was found the following morning.
Police said that they were informed of the incident, when the owner of the studio, Rajiv, dialled 100.
The police detained Rajiv, and a mutual friend, Sravan, on Wednesday for questioning.
While police officials who were contacted initially, didn't speak on record to the media about the link, several media outlets quoted 'police sources' as reporting on the alleged link between the two deaths.
The Deccan Chronicle reported that the police claimed Sirisha and Rajiv were in a relationship, and Sravan had suggested that he knew the Kuknoorpally SI, who could 'settle' a dispute that had arisen between the duo.
"At 9 pm on Monday, Rajiv, Sravan and Sirisha went to Kuknoorpally and met SI Prabhakar Reddy at his residential quarters. The trio consumed liquor en route," Banjara Hills inspector K Srinivas told the Times of India.
Both media outlets reported that the SI also consumed alcohol, and then tried to rape Sirisha, when the other two people stepped out for a smoke.
â€śRajiv had allegedly promised to marry Sirisha as they had been together for a while now. But, Rajiv started having an affair with another woman recently and a dispute arose between the two. In order to settle the matter, Rajiv and Sravan convinced Sirisha to meet the SI,â€ť The DC report quotes a police source as saying.
Following this, the police claimed that the trio returned to Hyderabad and had another altercation, following which Sirisha walked into her office, and allegedly hung herself.
â€śAfter the suicide, Sravan informed the SI and he requested them not to mention his name to the police. After Rajiv was picked up, SI Prabhakar Reddy got worked up and called a Banjara Hills SI to know about the beautician suicide investigation," the TOI report quotes a police official as saying.
The other side
Meanwhile, locals staged a daylong protest outside the police station and blocked the road.
They alleged that the police officer ended his life due to harassment from seniors.
As the protest continued, the locals staged a sit-in and continued to raise slogans. Hundreds of people had gathered at the spot by late afternoon.
Soon, news spread around the crowd, about the media telecasting these 'links' between the two deaths, which irked them greatly.
Reports state that the crowd turned into an angry mob, and attacked the OB vans of the media outlets gathered there. They also set one van on fire.
Stating that normalcy only returned by around 6.30pm, TNIE reported that the police also resorted to lathicharge, to bring the situation under control.
It is also pertinent to point out that another sub-inspector from the same police station, T Ramakrishna Reddy, had also shot himself dead with his service revolver at his quarters last year, allegedly due to harassment from his superiors.
The SI left a suicide note alleging that he had been harassed by the division DSP and Circle Inspector.
The two-page suicide note, addressed to the Medak SP, named two officers and alleged that they had been pressuring him to collect more mamool (hafta) and deliver it to them.