“Please talk to me for a while, I’ll tell you the reason later. I am a bit tensed. My vehicle got a flat tyre. I am scared,” 26-year-old Madhuri (name changed) told her sister, at around 9.20 pm on Wednesday. Soon, her phone was switched off, and her family was unable to trace her. On Thursday morning, Madhuri’s burnt body was found in the Outer Ring Road (ORR) underpass in Chatanpally village on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The police are trying to find out who killed Madhuri, and her family believes that her last phone call could hold the clue to what transpired on Wednesday night.
Madhuri was a veterinary doctor working in Nawabpet. A resident of Shamshabad, she used to come to Gachibowli in Hyderabad often, to reportedly visit a skin clinic. On Wednesday, as usual, she left home by bike around 5 pm, and parked it near the Shamshabad toll plaza, before taking a cab to Gachibowli. On the way back, she reached the toll plaza, and at 9.22 pm, she called her sister Ramya (name changed).
In the call, Madhuri told Ramya that a stranger – a lorry driver – informed her that her rear tyre had a puncture. The man volunteered to help her fix the bike, and despite her telling him that she’ll take it to the nearest puncture shop herself, he insisted on helping.
When Ramya told Madhuri to stand near the toll gate, Madhuri replied, "So that everyone stares at me?" Ramya interrupted, "So what?"
Madhuri said, "I am very scared about them. I feel like crying. I don't feel like standing here. You please keep talking until my bike comes back. They (lorry drivers) are all waiting outside. You please keep talking to me, I am scared."
Madhuri explained that the lorry driver asked some boy to get the tyre fixed. However, after sometime he returned without repairing the vehicle, saying that all the puncture shops were closed. Again, they took the bike to another place to get it repaired.
In her complaint Ramya wrote that her sister was scared by the suspicious behaviour of the lorry driver. However, when she called her back at 9.44 pm, her phone was switched off. “We went to the toll plaza to check when she didn’t return,” Ramya said in the complaint. Ramya called Madhuri again at 10.44 pm, and the phone remained switched off.
After the family’s searches remained futile, they lodged a complaint with the Shamshabad police at 3 am on Thursday.
At 7 am, Shadnagar police were informed about a burnt dead body in the underpass. After checking with the list of missing persons, police identified Madhuri and informed her family.
Police said that prima facie appears that she was brought to the underpass and killed. The lorry driver mentioned in the conversation between the victim and her sister is the main suspect in the case. Speaking to TNM, DCP N Prakash Reddy said, “So far we do not have any leads. The investigation is underway.”