New Delhi: The year 2019 witnessed some of the most bone-chilling crime incidents that shook the conscience of the nation. While the Telangana incident facilitated Disha Act in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh which mandated the death penalty to rapists, there are several other shocking incidents which make us shudder.
Telangana Vet Rape and Murder Case
On 27 November 2019 at around 6:15 p.m., a veterinary doctor parked her scooter near Shamdabad toll plaza and took a taxi to a dermatologist’s office. In her absence, her scooter’s tire was punctured by four lorry drivers who were watching her. After returning at around 9:15 p.m., she noticed the flat tyre and sought for help. Those four men came to help and the doctor made a call to her sister saying that she was not feeling comfortable. The strangers ambushed her, forced her to have liquor, and then took turns to sexually assault her. Then she was smothered and her body was wrapped in a blanket. They burnt her body under a bridge using diesel and petrol that they purchased midway. All of them were arrested and killed in police encounter later.
Unnao Rape Case
On December 5, a woman from Unnao was set on fire as she was on her way to a court in which she was fighting a rape case. After thrashing and stabbing her, a group of five men set her on fire. Eyewitnesses recalled how the women ran like a fireball, screaming for help.With almost 90 per cent burns, she was transferred to Delhi where she breathed her last. The horrific case, however, goes back a long time. Shivam Trivedi, the main accused in the case, promised her marriage and kept her in captivity as a sex slave. Shivam belongs to an affluent family; her mother being a tree-time gram pradhan, claimed reports. Shivam along with his sibling Shubham reportedly took her to a temple in Unnao promising that they would get married there. But she was raped at gunpoint.
According to the FIR, she confronted Shivam on January 19, 2018, and asked him whether he would be marrying her or not. She was taken to Rae Bareli where she was kept in a rented room for two months. She was not even allowed to step out. She was threatened that her videos would be released if she protested. In the FIR, she mentioned that Rae Bareli police didn’t allow her to lodge a complaint.
The FIR was finally lodged after the intervention of the court. Shivam surrendered in September this year and was out on bail in November.
Kerala Cyanide case
This is a chain murder case that unfolded over 14 years between 2002 and 2016. The case was solved in 2019. Annamma Thomas (57) collapsed and died in 2002. It was treated as a natural death. After six years, her husband Tom Thomas (66) died of heart failure. In 2011, their son, Roy Thomas (40), died in a similar manner. In 2014, Annamma’s brother, Mathew Manjadiyil (67), died similarly.
In 2019, Roy Thoma’s wife Jolly Joseph and her second husband Shaju were arrested for poisoning the family members. The bodies were exhumed for investigation.
Andhra Pradesh: Three days with Body
A 20-year-old woman in Hyderabad murdered her mother with the help of her boyfriend and allegedly spent three days with him beside the dead body. The case came to light when a body was found near Ramannapet railway track in a highly decomposed state on October 25, a week after Rajitha went missing. As per the police, the incident happened on October 19 when Keerthy Reddy and her boyfriend, Chanti alias Sashi, killed Ranjitha by strangulating her. They then spent three days with the body until the unbearable smell of the decomposing body forced them to dump the body on railway tracks.
During interrogation, she confessed to the crime and revealed that she had affairs with two men which her mother did not approve of. She confessed that she had a grudge against her mother for opposing her relationship with her boyfriend.
Subhashree Death Case
Though not a crime case per se, the death of R Subhashree, a software engineer, created a stir. The 23-year-old woman died in a freak accident in Chennai when a hoarding fell on her. A giant flex-board erected by AIADMK workers ahead of former Chennai City Corporation’s AIADMK councillor C Jayagoplan’s family reception reportedly tumbled on Subhashree as she was driving. She fell on the road and a speeding water tanker lorry ran over on her. The case ensued a debate over political hoardings on streets.