Murder or suicide? Burnt body of physically challenged woman found in Andhra

Amaravati, Dec 20 (IANS): In a horrific incident, a 24-year-old physically challenged woman's burnt body was found in Andhra Pradesh's Prakasam district.

Even 36 hours after Ummaneni Bhuvaneswari's body was found lying near a pond on the Dasarajupalli Road on Ongole town outskirts on Friday night, police has not been able to reach a conclusion whether she had committed suicide or was murdered.

After the charred body was lying on a tricycle the woman moved about on, police identified her with the help of a few documents found in a handbag lying besides it.

A resident of Kammapalem area of Ongole, Ummaneni was pursuing her MBA from Narayana University while working as a village volunteer.

Police initially suspected it was a case of suicide, on the basis of a WhatsApp message sent from her mobile phone to all her contacts, allegedly saying her app won't work anymore and requested them not to try to contact her.

However, police did not find any kerosene or petrol can near the body.

Police has since registered a case of death under suspicious circumstances and probing accordingly.

The investigators have not ruled out murder and setting the body afire on her tricycle as there were no signs of any movement of limbs prior to her death.

Ummaneni's family suspected foul play. Her mother Janaki told the police that she had last spoken to her daughter at 6.49 pm. But when she didn't return by 7.30 pm, Janaki frantically searched for her but her phone was found switched off.

Ummaneni was reportedly in her ward office till Friday afternoon but there was no clarity as to where she went to from there.

Police investigations revealed that she was last seen around 6.30 pm when a person helped her cross a bridge on her tricycle.

Circle Inspector Sivaramakrishna Reddy said the autopsy was conducted at a hospital in Ongole and that Ummaneni's phone call data was getting analysed.

State Women's Commission member Ramadevi spoke to the family members of the young woman.

Leaders of an organisation working for the rights of physically challenged claimed that it was a murder and demanded immediate steps to arrest the accused.

Meanwhile, former Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party President N Chandrababu Naidu expressed shock over the death and demanded a thorough probe. "The state has so far witnessed attacks on Dalits, tribals, Muslims and backward classes and this incident show that even physical challenged have no protection."

He said that the facts of the case would come out only if the police made her call list public. Naidu also questioned the delay in the conduct of the autopsy.




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