‘I Killed Her’: Accused in Hyd Vet Doc’s Rape-Murder Told Parents
This is what Molanbi, mother of “Accused-1” in the Hyderabad vet’s rape-murder case, told The Quint a day later from her small one-room home in Jakkular village in Telangana's Narayanpet district.
Hours after he came home, around 3 in the morning, Mohammad was picked up by six policemen.
What Was the Role of ‘Accused-1' in the Rape-Murder?
A day before he was picked up, on the intervening night of 27 and 28 November, a government veterinary doctor in Hyderabad was raped and murdered before being suffocated to death. The police arrested the four accused on 29 November, including Mohammad, known as “Accused-1” (A-1).
Mohammad, alias Areef, is a 25-year-old lorry driver based out of Jakkular village in Narayanpet district. He had spent his whole life in the village.
While Mohammad told his mother that he had killed the woman in an accident, the police suspect otherwise.
This was after one of his accomplices, “Accused-2” Jollu Shiva, had punctured the tyres as part of the conspiracy.
It was also Mohammad, along with “Accused-3” Jollu Naveen and “Accused-4” Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu, who forcibly took her to a compound nearby. It is alleged that all four took turns to rape her. It was Mohammad, according to the police investigation, who closed her mouth and nose till she suffocated and died.
'We Slept in Silence... Till The Door Was Forcefully Opened'
Referring to the night when Mohammad returned home, his mother said, “Before he told us that he had killed a woman in an accident, I asked him if he wanted to eat. But he refused.”
She could sense that Mohammad was engrossed in thought. After some time, he broke his silence and told his parents about the crime. Hearing about it, Molanbi felt petrified for her son. “We did not ask him questions. He looked scared and distressed and all he wanted to do was to go to sleep. So, we all did.”
Mohammad’s father, Hussain, did tell him repeatedly that he should have been more careful. “I scolded him and said that he needs to drive carefully. That he should have. But Mohammad was not listening. He was in deep thought and kept insisting we all sleep. After sometime, we did.”
As the silence of the night crept in, Molanbi grew more anxious. She had assumed what her son told her to be true but she did not have the heart to get angry with him.
As she saw six policemen, dressed in plainclothes, break into her home and take her son away, she was shattered. That was the last time she saw her son.
‘Have No Means to Earn Money’
Molanbi and her husband Hussain were dependent on Mohammad, who had dropped out of school in Class 10 to earn money.
"My husband met with an accident a few years ago. He used to work as a driver to carry sand up and down from hills. One day, he fell off the lorry and hurt his lower back. Since then, he has not been able to work," she said.
Referring to herself, she said, "Since my operation, I am not able to move around much." She is frail, weak and repeatedly touches the part of her stomach which was operated on.
“Sometimes it still pains. I cannot move around fast or do anything at all. I have no means to earn money,” she adds.
Mohammad had worked at a petrol pump close to their village for about two years and then worked as a lorry driver for the last three. His route was from Karnataka to Hyderabad and he would make Rs 20-25,000 a month.
At the same time, however, his parents were becoming increasingly disconnected with their son. They were clueless about how he lived his life, where he spent the residual income and who his friends were.
'He Barely Stayed Home’
"He would come home once every five to eight days. As soon as he did, it was my signal to heat water for him. He would have a bath, change into other clothes. I would insist he should eat, but he wouldn't. His phone would keep ringing and then he would leave," she said, adding that he stayed for a maximum of half an hour every time he came home.
She does not want to hear about the heinous nature of the crime. She does not want to talk about it either. Her neighbours tell us that the Muslims in the area ensure that someone is with her. They are concerned that she could faint due to stress or take her life.
Sixty-five year old Chand Pasha, Molanbi's neighbour, is one of them. He lives right across her home, but also added how they would never see Mohammed.
"He would come and leave. There are several people in this village who wouldn’t see him or be able to recognise him,” he said.
Another neighbour, 60-year-old Mehboob Ali, said the same: “What he did outside we do not know. But the boy did not spend much time in the village.”
With their only source of income gone, Molanbi and Hussain are distraught. Along with the other three accused, their son Mohammad was sent to 14-day judicial remand on 30 November.
(Editor’s note: This story was first published on 1 December and has been updated on 6 December in light of the encounter between the Telangana Police and the four accused in the case.)