Visakhapatnam

Nine ‘murders’ in a day shock people in City of Destiny

Never in the modern history of Visakhapatnam that the City of Destiny witnessed so many deaths by murder in one single day, which it had done on Thursday.

The city was jolted from its slumber, as the news spread that a 49-year-old man allegedly hacked six members of a family, including two children and three women, with a hunting scythe at Juttada village of Pendurthy mandal on the outskirts of the city, in the wee hours of Thursday. This was followed by reports streaming in that the eldest son of a four-member family had allegedly killed his parents and younger brother and has set the flat on fire, in which they were living at Midhilapuri in PM Palem area. Even the accused in this case was also found dead.

“We had at least nine confirmed cases of alleged murder, only the cause of death of the accused in the Midhilapuri case is to be confirmed, whether it was a suicide or asphyxia due to smoke or any other reason. But nine alleged murders on a single day, has never happened in our city so far,” said an ACP rank officer.

“The last time that we had multiple murders in the city was some time in early 1990s, when a mentally-challenged person had killed three other inmates at the Government Hospital of Mental Care,” said former Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Mahendra Patrudu, who served in the city for over three decades.

“What makes the Pendurthi murder case even unique, is that it was a ‘avenge killing’. The accused Battina Apalaraju had hacked the six members of the family to avenge the alleged rape of his daughter,” said Pendurthi Inspector Ashok Kumar.

Though the Forensic Department at KGH had bodies in more numbers on a single day in past, this was for the first time in the history of the department that it had received 10 bodies (at least nine murders) on a single day from the city.

In past, bodies due to accidents have piled up at the mortuary, as in the case of HCPL vapour cloud explosion in 1997 that left about 60 dead, VSP Oxygen plant blast in 2012 (19 dead), LG Polymer styrene vapour leak in 2020 (12 dead), but not so many murders.

The last time the mortuary received 12 civilian bodies with bullet wounds was on November 1, 1966, when they were killed in police action during the steel plant agitation. In 2008, the bodies of 38 Greyhounds commandos who were killed in the Balimela attack were shifted to the mortuary.

But they were all accidents or deaths occurred during confirmed police or Naxal action. Post-mortem in a murder case is different from the rest and it needs more detailed examination, despite the case being an established one, said Principal of Andhra Medical College P.V. Sudhakar.

This has put the Forensic Department under pressure, as on one hand the department is entrusted with the conduct of the MBBS examination and on the other they had about 10 high-profile murder case post-mortems. A six-member team was deputed to work in shifts to handle it.

Meanwhile across city, especially those who have been living in the city for years and have made it their home, were perturbed with the days development. Such a happening is not in tune with the peaceful fabric of the city, said Dr. Sudhakar.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 5:03:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/nine-murders-in-a-day-shock-people-in-city-of-destiny/article34339842.ece

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