Police have identified the suspect as one Pallakonda Raju, who has been missing since the night the minor girl went missing. Police have found him walking into a liquor store in one of the CCTV footage where he was wearing a cap and red scarf around his neck at that time. \

Five days after a minor girl was found murdered in a neighbour’s house after being allegedly sexually assaulted, the Hyderabad police Tuesday announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for any information leading to the arrest of the accused. The incident has triggered protests by locals as well as calls for an encounter of the suspect by opposition parties

Police have identified the suspect as one Pallakonda Raju, aged around 30 old and 5 feet 9 inches in height. According to the police, Raju is an alcoholic, sports long hair that he keeps tied with a rubber band and has tattoos on both hands with the name ‘Mounika’.

He has been missing since the night the minor girl went missing. Police have found him walking into a liquor store in one of the CCTV footage where he was wearing a cap and red scarf around his neck at that time. The suspect has not contacted his family or wife in his native place.

According to the police, Raju allegedly kidnapped the girl on Thursday, took her to his room and killed her after sexually assaulting her. The locals while searching for the missing girl found her body wrapped in a bedsheet in Raju’s house on Thursday night.

The incident has led to Opposition leaders calling for an encounter of the suspect, like in the case of rape and murder of a 27-year-old veterinarian in 2019, in which four accused were shot dead by Cyberabad police in an alleged exchange of fire.

Amid loud calls for instant justice, Labour minister Ch Malla Reddy on Tuesday told reporters that there should be an “encounter” of the accused. Earlier, while visiting the bereaved family, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president Revanth Reddy, too, had demanded “encounter killing” of the accused.

The photograph and details of the suspect released by Hyderabad police on Tuesday come two days after Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister KT Rama Rao erroneously tweeted that the accused had been arrested. Soon after being called out online, the minister expressed regret and corrected himself in another tweet.

On Tuesday, DGP M Mahendar Reddy held a meeting with senior officers of Hyderabad, Cyberabad, and Rachakonda commissionerates that form Hyderabad city. As there are no technical clues about the accused given that he doesn’t carry a mobile phone and has no permanent address or a job, thousands of policemen across the state are on his trail. Since he is believed to be a regular at liquor stores, surveillance has been stepped up at these places.

IPS officer VC Sajjanar, who is currently TSRTC managing director, has issued instructions to all TSRTC staff to stay alert as the suspect is used to sleeping on pavements and bus stands. Sajjanar headed Cyberabad police when four suspects were shot dead in 2019 and Warangal police when three suspects in an acid attack case were shot dead in 2008,

Police have sought any information to be passed on to phone numbers 94906 16366 or 94906 16627. A photograph with details has been shared across police stations in the state. The superintendents of five districts have been alerted.

Soon after the incident, Hyderabad District Collector L Sharman had visited the family and handed over financial assistance of Rs 50,000 from the government. He assured them a house under the government’s 2BHK housing scheme for the poor and education to the other children of the victim’s parents.

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