Relatives burning bodies of youths, whom they bump off to ‘protect’ girls in the family, is not new to Krishna district

This incident happened about 25 years ago in the middle of the night amid heavy traffic at the ‘Veterinary Hospital Centre’ on the Mahatma Gandhi Road, which was known to most as Bandar Road then. People returning home from the late night show were shocked to see a man in flames running on to the road and collapsing. The man who suffered severe burns was declared dead on the spot.

Not identifiable

With the face burnt beyond recognition the police could not identify the victim. One of the theories that seemed most plausible was that the youth was murdered by the relatives of a girl with whom he was in love. The relatives reportedly told the youth to stay away, but he did not heed their warnings.

A similar case has come to light again now in Pedaparupudi near Gudivada. In this case the accused, however, mutilated the body by dumping it under a train at Vatluru in West Godavari so that it would remain beyond recognition, but in vain.

Some of the witnesses in the first case said that they got the smell of spirit, the type used in hospitals for sterilising injection needles and instruments used for surgery. That explained the severe burns and immediate death. The truth behind the murder never came out because the victim could not be identified.

In another case a couple of years later, a burnt body was found on the ITI Road. In this case also the face of the victim was burnt beyond recognition. Newspapers reported that it was the handiwork of a gang that eliminated youth causing trouble to the relatives of girls of marriageable age. Relatives burning bodies of youths, whom they bumped off to ‘protect’ girls in the family, is not new to Krishna District.

A section of society does not even see it as a crime at all. In developed countries, bodies that were burnt beyond recognition were then identified through dental records.

There have been huge advances in identification of burnt bodies using DNA. Research is being done by agencies like the FBI on thermally degraded DNA from hair, skull femoral muscles, internal organs, fragments of skin and long bone.

Using the recently developed techniques it was possible to differentiate completely charred bodies if the DNA of relatives was available for comparison.

More In: Vijayawada