Days after a woman named Padmaja went missing in Andhra Pradesh’s Krishna district, police have traced her to Nalgonda district in Telangana, where her body was lying charred and unidentified. Five persons have since been arrested for allegedly killing the woman and trying to get rid of her body, by taking it to Narketpalle village in Telangana and burning it near a cemetery.
Machilipatnam DySP (Deputy Superintendent of Police) Mehaboob Basha told the media on Thursday that Padmaja’s family had filed a missing complaint with the Inaguduru police on August 31. On September 4, Narketpally police had registered a murder case on finding a partially burnt body of a woman aged between 40 to 45 years. Padmaja’s relatives then identified the body based on a tattoo and an anklet.
The Machilipatnam police then registered a case under Section 302 (Punishment for murder) and Section 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence) of the Indian Penal Code, and further investigation led to the arrests.
According to police, the main accused, Harikrishna, was married to Bhagyalakshmi, who was related to Padmaja (Padmaja was her aunt). Padmaja was reportedly opposed to Bhagyalakshmi’s relationship with Harikrishna from the beginning.
“With Bhagyalakshmi having miscarriages twice over the past two years, they suspected that Padmaja had caused them by performing black magic, and they planned to kill her,” DySP Mehaboob Basha said. He added that the accused were also motivated by their financial difficulties, as Padmaja had a considerable amount of gold jewelry.
Along with three other persons — Pasuvuleti Ravi Kumar, Erra Rajesh, and Dasari Siva Krishna — they allegedly kidnapped Padmaja on the morning of August 31, and confined her in Harikrishna’s house.
“They threatened her and took her gold jewelry. They drugged her so that she wouldn’t scream, and that night, they smothered her with a pillow and killed her,” the DySP said. In order to hide her body, the four men allegedly took her in an auto to Nalgonda, and near a cemetery, they poured petrol on her body and set it on fire.