Hyderabad Minor Rape Case Accused Found Dead: Questions Social Media Is Asking

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The body of a 30-year-old man, reported to be the Hyderabad minor rape case accused, was found at the Ghanapur station, the Telangana police said Thursday. They said his identity was confirmed via identification marks on his body. Named Raju, he was accused of raping and murdering a six-year-old girl in Saidabad on September 9. He was on the run from police after the incident came to light, sparking wide outrage and protests.

Though certain reports quoting police say an official confirmation on Raju’s death is awaited, a tweet from the Director-General of Police, Telangana said, “The accused of “Child Sexual Molestation and murder @ Singareni Colony, found dead on the railway track.”

Police, in a statement to The News Minutesaid the accused allegedly jumped in front of a train when police were chasing him. Officials have called it a case of “suicide.” Full details in the case are yet to be ascertained. Read more here.

There was a reward of ten lakh rupees on Raju’s head during the time he was absconding. Hyderabad police had released identification for the rape accused with computer-generated disguises of him. Around nine police teams were reportedly deployed in search for Raju.

About the case 

A minor girl was found dead at Raju’s house in the Saidabad Singareni Colony on September 9. She was his neighbour, reportedly lured there by candies. The 30-year-old allegedly raped and killed her. Medical reports confirmed the minor was strangled and sexually assaulted, as per NDTV

There was much outrage among locals who protested the removal of the minor girl’s body from the site. Police were allowed to proceed only after the mob was assured due action in the case would be taken. Some initial claims stated the accused was arrested but reports further clarified he was on the run.

Hyderabad Minor Rape Case Accused: Encounter? Netizens Ask

Raju’s death comes two days after state minister Malla Reddy remarked, “We will catch the rapist and murderer. There will be an encounter after he is caught.” The comment, caught on video, had received a wide range of reactions from viewers, with some in agreement and some criticising the suggested course of action in the rape case.

Though Hyderabad police are yet to make an official media statement on the status of the rape case and the accused, the circumstances as reported on Thursday have led many on social media to suggest Raju’s death might have been an encounter.

Parallels are being drawn between this particular case and the gangrape-murder of a 26-year-old female veterinary doctor in Hyderabad in 2019. The four accused in the Disha gangrape case were killed in an alleged encounter soon after their crime came to light. The police maintained they shot the accused in self-defence since they tried to attack and flee. Read here.

Over the accused’s alleged death in the minor rape case, encounter speculation has prompted netizens to question whether extrajudicial killings offer proper justice in cases of serious gender crimes.

“Happy he is dead. But this is not justice. They should fear about the punishment before doing this crime,” one Twitter user wrote. “Is Hyderabad turning into the “Encounter Capital” of India?” another user asked. “This should not be the way to deliver justice. And this cannot be called justice,” another said.

Do encounters answer questions left unresolved in rapes? Does it deter further crime or ensure women’s safety? Are girls in Hyderabad feeling safer now that one figure of threat is said to be out of the way? What about the many potential others? Should public outrage guide the course of law or justice?

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