The Hindu / January 16 2006
Tribal woman’s death in lock-up?
( 8 Excise men booked on rape, murder charges; relatives ransack Saroornagar station / Victim was picked up from Karmanghat tenement after demolishing her hut / Excise personnel say Bujji was moved to Osmania General Hospital )
HYDERABAD: Irate relatives and locals stormed Saroornagar excise station here on Sunday and ransacked the premises protesting against the alleged rape and death of a tribal woman in the station, after she was picked up on the charge of selling illicit liquor.
Following a complaint lodged by the sister-in-law of the victim, the Cyberabad Police booked cases against the Saroornagar Excise Inspector Krishna, SIs Srinivas Reddy and Ravinder Reddy, besides five other constables for alleged rape, murder and wrongful confinement of the tribal woman, according to Saroornagar ACP Jaganmohan Reddy.
The Saroornagar Excise personnel had picked up Nanavath Bujji, 40, at 2 p.m. on January 13 from the Karmanghat tenement after demolishing her hut. "We were allowed to take food to her in the station yesterday afternoon. But the Excise personnel turned away a relative who carried food for her dinner in the evening saying she did not need it. And this morning, an Excise constable Bhikku came to our place and informed that she was dead," the deceased’s sister-in-law N. Sali said in her complaint.
Enraged relatives stormed the Excise station alleging that the personnel sexually assaulted Bujji and beat her to death.
Excise personnel denied the charges saying Bujji was shifted to a local hospital after she complained of stomach pain. She was referred to the Osmania General Hospital in a critical condition where she died. The body was shifted to the hospital mortuary.
Furious relatives —Not convinced by the version, furious relatives demanded to know why the Excise staff did not send her to the local police station or the Court. "How can they confine a woman illegally? And even after she died, why was the local police not informed?" they asked.
An inquest would be conducted on Monday and the body handed over to relatives.
Bujji was a native of a thanda near Devarapalle in Nalgonda district and had come to the city with her three children after her husband’s death. She was eking out a living by reportedly selling ID liquor.
Probe ordered ==The Ranga Reddy district Collector has ordered an inquiry. District Revenue Officer B. Surya Rao will conduct the probe, according to officials. Further action will be taken after Mr. Rao submits a report.