Jawan quizzed in boy’s murder shoots himself dead

Updated - November 16, 2021 06:57 pm IST

Published - November 03, 2014 11:02 pm IST - HYDERABAD:

An army jawan, one of the 70 people questioned by police in the sensational murder of an 11-year-old boy Mustafa on October 8, shot himself dead with his INSAS rifle at Mehdipatnam Garrison in the early hours of Monday.

Forty-seven-year-old Appalaraju was on duty with five-member Quick Response Team at Mehdipatnam Garrison on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday. Around 4.30 a.m., he put the barrel of the rifle below his chin and pulled the trigger, said Asifnagar ACP D. Srinivas.

The bullet pierced through his chin and exited through his head leaving him dead on the spot. Incidentally, the place where the jawan shot himself was also close to the point at which the boy was seen lying with nearly 90 per cent burns on October 8.

Other QRT members were asleep when the jawan killed himself, the police said. Appalaraju was among the suspects in the case of torching the boy to death. He was questioned by the Special Investigation Team, formed by Hyderabad police to probe Mustafa murder, four days ago.

“The jawan was one of the few persons last seen at the place of Mustafa murder. He was on leave that day but witnesses said he was spotted loitering around there,” a police officer, unwilling to be quoted, said.

SIT officials stumbled upon a few more leads in the form of material evidence and corroborative statements from others witnesses in the case and questioned the jawan. Police sources said that he had admitted to have been at the murder spot on Oct. 8 to consume liquor.

But, before the police could carry further investigation, he ended his life. “His suicide should not be taken as an indication of his involvement in the case as wide speculations are being raised, questioning the involvement of the jawan in Mehdipatnam incident,” said the army officials.

In a statement released in the evening, they said the jawan was probably under immense mental stress due to the ongoing interrogation. The army was fully co-operating with the police and wants the truth to come out at the earliest, it said.

The Humayunnagar police registered a case of suspicious death under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code following the jawan’s suicide and have started investigation.

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