Bangles and watch helped identify the Tahsildar

An ambulance carrying Vijaya Reddy’s body being escorted by the police.

An ambulance carrying Vijaya Reddy’s body being escorted by the police.  

Colleagues at first thought it was a man, as features were burnt beyond recognition

When employees at Abdullapurmet Tahsildar Office saw a person burning and screaming in pain near the doorway of the first floor, three things were going on in their mind — how to rescue the person, who it was, and whether a fire accident led to the incident.

In fact, they thought it was a man as the person did not have any hair and skin was burnt making features unrecognisable. It was only after seeing bangles and watch that the employees realised that the person screaming in pain was none other than their superior Ch Vijaya Reddy, Tahsildar of Abdullapurmet mandal.

“I leaned from the second floor and saw a person burning. Hair and skin was missing. It was the bangles and watch which helped us identify her,” said senior assistant at the office Sunitha, who was the last one to take orders from the Tahsildar. Usually, every Monday, the three-storeyed rental building where the Tahsildar Office is located witnesses busy activity as people meet officials with their grievances. On November 4 too, the officials were busy attending the works. After Ms Vijaya entrusted some work to senior assistant Sunitha at around 1.40 p.m., someone walked in and closed the door of the Tahsildar’s office. Ms Sunitha went back to her desk when employees heard a blast and screams from a person who caught fire. The person dropped on the floor, near the doorway of the office on the first floor. Employees scurried to grab something to rescue the person, and searched for the Tahsildar.

A Mandal Revenue Inspector B Mahesh rushed to the cellar, grabbed a carpet, and threw it on the person with the help of his colleagues. “Till this point, I did not know it was madam (Tahsildar). After checking the first floor, when we shouted that madam is missing, she raised her hand,” Mr Mahesh said, standing outside the building.

The employees said that K Suresh (around 35) who set her ablaze, too caught fire and he ran out of the building. Besides them, Ms Vijaya’s driver, and an attendant Chandraiah too suffered from burns. Initially, they thought she caught fire either because of a cylinder blast, or while making tea for herself. While there are CCTV cameras in the building, they are not sure if the cameras are working. Police personnel who reached the spot for investigation, closed all gates of the building.

People from nearby villages gathered and made curious enquiries on what made Suresh take the extreme step. However, the employees said that none of them saw Suresh visiting their office in the past few months. Ms Vijaya used to live with her husband, a son and daughter in Saroornagar. Her body was taken to Osmania General Hospital’s mortuary for post-mortem examination. Gates leading to the mortuary were closed by the police.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 10:57:00 AM |

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