17-Year-Old Girl in Vizag Found Dead With Her Throat Slit
Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy has announced compensation for her family.
Seventeen-year-old girl Varalakshmi had been busy with her cousin’s wedding festivities for the past few days. She had been moving back and forth between her home in suburban Vizag and her relative’s home nearby.
On Saturday evening, when she went missing for a while, her family thought she might have been midway between the two houses. The search ended with the family finding her body near a temple nearby, with her throat slit. Police have reportedly taken into custody the suspect named Akhil, who was known to Varalakshmi and her family, and his interrogation is underway.
“In the Srinagar hill area within Gajuwaka police station limits, a young girl named Varalakshmi, approximately 17 years old, was killed. We are investigating who did it. Akhil is a suspect,” a police officer told ETV. While the police are yet to reveal the preliminary details of their investigation so far, some of Varalakshmi’s family members have spoken to the media about the events of Saturday evening.
Varalakshmi’s brother told reporters that the two of them were at their home together for a brief period on Saturday evening. Varalakshmi had come home to change clothes before returning to her cousin’s house to apply mehendi for the wedding. When he went to the washroom and came back, Varalakshmi was gone, he said. On finding out that she hadn’t reached the location of wedding festivities either, her brother began to look for her. “My father had also come home by then. We both started looking for her,” he said.
The brother said that the suspect Akhil and his sister Varalakshmi were in love. Their father, however, told TV 9 that Akhil, who is three to four years older than Varalakshmi, had known her and her brother since their school days. The father alleged Akhil had stalked and harassed Varalakshmi in the past.
The brother, who often saw Akhil at a nearby temple on a hilltop, went there to look for his sister. “I went to the temple and asked around, but no one knew. As I was checking with my cousins if she had gone home, I saw him (Akhil) running away in blood stained clothes. I went up (to the temple) and called her name, but didn’t get any response,” he said.
He went to Akhil’s house to look for him before returning to the temple. By then, he was informed by a bystander that a man and a couple of police officers had gone up the hill. The brother went up to find Varalakshmi’s body, dumped behind a wall among shrubs.
Another relative told Sakshi TV that Akhil had run home to confess to his father, who then informed the police. The police then caught Akhil, who led them to Varalakshmi’s body near the temple, she said.
A few reports suggest that another man named Ram has also been taken into custody in relation to Varalakshmi’s death. Varalakshmi’s brother told reporters that Akhil and Ram had gotten into a fight a couple of days over Varalakshmi, a couple of days before her death.
Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy has announced financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh to Varalakshmi’s family. He instructed authorities to take the incident seriously, and to take strict measures to curb crimes against women in the state. “If a girl or woman informs that she is under threat from a person or a group of persons, police must take immediate measures without any indifference,” he said.
(The story was published in an arrangement with The News Minute.)
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