‘Why would he leave baby’s head on terrace?’: Shocked neighbours question Hyd cops’ version

Cops have accused the couple of sacrificing an infant to cure Srilatha of a long-term illness.Family, however, says she did not suffer any such illness.
‘Why would he leave baby’s head on terrace?’: Shocked neighbours question Hyd cops’ version
‘Why would he leave baby’s head on terrace?’: Shocked neighbours question Hyd cops’ version

At 11.30am on Thursday, the media gathered in hordes near the residence of Rajashekar and Srilatha. Their residence was the scene of a shocking crime that has left the city sleepless: An infant girl’s severed head was found on the terrace of their house on February 1, and the Hyderabad police had announced on Thursday morning that they had, finally cracked the case.

Come evening, and the police announced that the crime was, in fact, committed by the couple. Rajashekar, they said, had beheaded the baby girl as part of a human sacrifice, and left her on the terrace so it could catch the rays of the Super Blue Blood Moon. According to the police, the ‘black magic ritual’ was conducted because the couple wanted a cure for a long-term illness that Srilatha reportedly suffered from.

But even before the police could hold a press conference and name Rajashekar and Srilatha as the accused, the local media had already broken the story a week ago and named them killers.

And as each media broadcast van rolled into Chilukanagar in Uppal, the shocked residents of the area peeped out to find out what was happening. Visibly shaken by the accusation, several neighbours tried to dissociate themselves from the accused.

Others, however, questioned how this quiet couple could have committed such a heinous crime, and wondered whether the police had, in fact, got the wrong accused.

‘Why would he leave the head on the terrace?’

According to the police, Rajashekar had brought the severed head of the baby home on the night of January 31, and left it on the terrace so it would catch the moonlight as part of a black magic ritual.

Neighbours, however, question why he didn’t then remove the head from the terrace the next morning the same way he allegedly brought it in.

“If he has committed the crime, why would he keep the severed head on the roof and invite trouble?” asks a neighbour, who wishes to remain anonymous. Rajashekar had reportedly left for work at 9am on February 1. It was at 11am the same morning that his mother-in-law – Srilatha’s mother – found the head on the terrace, when she went there to put clothes out for drying.

Why did Rajashekar not remove the head earlier in the day if he did commit the crime, the neighbour prods.

“Also, Srilatha is not suffering from any illness,” she adds, raising further doubts about the police’s version.

Echoing her sentiments, another woman who joins the conversation says, “We genuinely feel that the police has implicated them. They are good people.”

Not much too religious

While the police has accused the couple of performing human sacrifice, Rajashekar’s maternal grandmother, Narsamma, who lives nearby, claims her grandson wasn’t religious at all.

Narsamma says, “Only god knows what the truth is. If he is guilty, let him face the punishment. If he is innocent, the people who framed him will be punished.”

Others distance themselves

However, after the police and media’s accusation against Rajashekar and Srilatha, several other neighbours decided to completely distance themselves from the couple.

“We don’t know them (Rajashekar’s family) properly. Please don’t ask me anything. I wasn’t there that day, we had gone to Medaram jatara,” said a perplexed neighbor Lakshmi, who resides opposite Rajashekar’s house.

Another neighbour, P Narasimha Reddy, who had come out to witness the chaos around Rajashekar’s house said, “I have never spoken to this person (Rajashekar). I’ve been staying here for almost 10 years. I would only see him when he came out to clean his car in the mornings.”

A shopkeeper near the accused couple’s residence said, “He was a quiet man. He would come to the shop often. But you don’t know what people are really inside…”

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