A FLAT TYRE… AND MURDER … Hyderabad veterinarian murdered at night near toll plaza

HYDERABAD: A twentyseven-year-old veterinarian, returning from her clinic to her home at night, was brutally killed by a gang of suspected truck drivers, near the Tondupally toll plaza on NH44 Outer Ring Road, near RGI airport  here, on Wednesday. It is suspected that she was also raped. Four persons including two drivers and two cleaners of trucks have been detained for interrogation. 

Police say they confessed to the crime. The area had close circuit TV cameras, so identification might be easy.

Police said the young woman lived in Shamshabad, near the toll plaza. She left her work at the government clinic at Nawabpet/Kolluru a while after 8pm and headed for the toll plaza. There, she kept her bike in the parking lot and took a cab to Gadchibowli to meet a dermatologist. When she returned from there, on her way back home, by 9pm, she noticed a tyre of her bike was flat. Some truck drivers on the spot alerted her before she noticed it herself, a report said.

Police now say they are investigating whether someone– perhaps the men in custody now — purposely deflated the tyre after they saw her parking the vehicle, and then lay in wait to prey on her. Police sources said this was likely what happened.

As per the victim’s family, the veterinarian called her sister to say two men came forward to help her and they took the vehicle for repair and that she was a little tense waiting alone on the road. She asked her sister to keep talking to her on the phone so that she would not feel lonely out there on the road, with some truck drivers casting their glances on her already. 

Police however failed to identify the two men who took away the vehicle, and suspicion centers on them too vis-à-vis the murder. One report said the two men who took the bike for repair came back to say the mechanic’s shop was closed already. It was past nine pm. They again took the vehicle to try with some other repair shops, the report said.

A line of trucks were lying in wait near the toll plaza. Some 50 metres away, the woman’s body was found on Thursday morning with burn marks. Her clothes were torn. Police suspect some of the truck drivers around might have taken advantage of the darkness and dragged her to the bushes and then the body left in the underpass of the flyover on the Bengaluru-Hyderabad national highway 44.

 “The men killed her, then took her body on the truck around before leaving it underneath the flyover, in  a half-burnt manner, as per one version of the events. The men also collected petrol from some pumps in used plastic water bottles, to burn her, it was stated in some reports. 

Since there was a long line of trucks, what happened on its side went unnoticed in the darkness though there was a regular flow of vehicles on the highway at that time too.

The family in distress….

The deceased’s family said they tried to contact her over phone a while after the veterinarian called her sister, but they found the phone was switched off – which worried them all night. 

Their efforts to trace her failed. By midnight, they filed a complaint with the police. 

The next day, after the body was found around 7am, police took the family members to the spot and identified the body as their girl’s own. 

Telangana home minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali said the veterinarian could have called the cops at toll-free helpline number 100. “Instead, why did she call her family,” he asked. Ali said if any woman faced a vehicle breakdown, they must call the police, and a patrol vehicle in the locality will come and help them. — IHN-NN

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