A serial killer who has been accused of killing 17 people has been awarded life imprisonment by a court in Telangana's Jogulamba-Gadwal district. This is the second time that Yerukali Srinu (47), who was recently acquitted in two cases, has been awarded a life sentence. Srinu, who allegedly used to target women after befriending them at toddy shops, was awarded the sentence in one of the murder cases. The third Additional District Magistrate held him guilty and on Thursday sentenced him to life imprisonment for the murder of Chitti Alivelamma (53). Srinu was arrested in 2019 in Alivelamma's murder case. Police had said their investigation revealed that he killed 16 other women in the last decade. Srinu's wife Salamma was also arrested for stocking the stolen property.
Srinu, who had also previously been convicted for the murder of his own brother, was caught when police cracked the murder case of Alivelamma, whose body was found on December 17, 2019, near a village in Mahabubnagar district. The police investigation had revealed that the accused targetted lone women at toddy shops at various places in Rangareddy and Mahabubnagar districts. Srinu would befriend women who came to toddy shops to drink, would take them out to isolated places in the name of a picnic and after drinking with them, would kill them and decamp with their gold and silver ornaments, according to the police.
Srinu was jailed and convicted in a few criminal cases in the past. In 2009, he was sentenced to life for his brother's murder but was given remission in 2013 for good conduct in jail. After repeated offences, he was last released from jail in 2018, and authorities had provided him with a job at a petrol bunk run by the prison department. Srinu has been acquitted in 11 cases. In two of the cases, he was acquitted recently. Police have appealed against his acquittals.