Andhra Woman Strangled, Her Burnt Body Abandoned in Field; 2 Held
The incident was reported on the day DGP Sawang reported a 7.5 percent drop in crimes against women in 2020 in AP.
Snehalatha, a second-year degree student, started working part-time at a bank in Andhra Pradesh’s Dharmavaram in the first week of December, where she used to explain the benefits of credit cards to the customers. The 18-year-old would leave for work at 9 am and return home by 6 pm. However, on December 22, Snehalatha reportedly left work as usual but did not return home.
Her body was found half burnt at a field by the Dharmavaram-Anantapuram road near Badannapalli village in the district on Wednesday. Two persons suspected of having committed the crime have been arrested by the Ananthapur district police.
The Dharmavaram Police, investigating the case, says Snehalatha was invited to a secluded place on the pretext of having a conversation with Gutti Rajesh, one of her acquaintances. Upon reaching the spot, the accused reportedly choked her to death and later burnt her body with the intention of destroying evidence.
On Tuesday, Snehalatha’s parents found their daughter’s phone switched off at 7:30 pm.
After waiting for a couple of hours, Snehalatha’s mother Lakshmi Devi went to Rajesh's home and checked with him on her daughter’s whereabouts, to which he feigned ignorance. Rajesh and his friend, Karthick, had earlier been accused by the family of harassing their daughter, the police say.
Lakshmi Devi lodged a complaint with the Dharmavaram police, who found an unidentified burnt body on Wednesday, and was later identified as that of Snehalatha. The Dharmavaram police station (Rural) inspector told TNM that the victim was not sexually assaulted.
As the victim was from the scheduled caste community, the police invoked the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, along with the Indian Penal Code Sections 302 (Murder), 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence) and other relevant clauses.
Snehalatha's mother is a tailor while her father drives a truck.
The latest instance of crime against a woman in Andhra Pradesh was reported on the day the Director-General of Police D, Gautham Sawang, reported a 7.5 percent drop in crimes against women in the state in 2020.
(With inputs from IANS.)
(This story was first published on The News Minute and has been republished here with permission.)
(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.