Back-to-back murders of women jolt Andhra Pradesh

AMARAVATI: In less than a month’s time, Andhra Pradesh has witnessed three ghastly crimes on women, including setting of a woman ablaze in Vijayawada, sending shock-waves across the society.

On October 13, Vijayawada police rushed to rescue a boy and a girl, Nagabushanam and Chinnari, burning up in flames at Hanumanpet.

By the time the police reached the spot, Chinnari, 24, succumbed to burn injuries while Nagabushanam gave a statement to the police that they both committed suicide, before he also died.

Chinnari’s father, accused that Nagabushanam set her on fire.

As no CCTV cameras were present at the spot where the inferno happened, no footage was available.

In the police investigation, police found more petrol on Chinnari’s body than Nagabushanam’s.

Chinnari worked as a nurse at a nearby Covid Care Centre (CCC) and came from a small village near Vijayawada.

Within a space of three days in the same city, Divya Tejaswini, an engineering student, was stabbed to death at her home in the Kristhurajapuram locality.

When police reached Tejaswini’s home, they found Nagendra, a boy from the same locality with her and also a few stab wounds on his body.

Tejaswini, 20, was enrolled in an engineering course in Bhimavaram.

In this incident also, nobody witnessed what exactly transpired between the two but Nagendra claimed to police that Tejaswini tried to stab him.

In a similar fashion, a 17-year-old girl’s throat was allegedly slit by one Akhil Sai Venkat in Visakhapatnam on Sunday, resulting in the girl bleeding to death.

Venkat, a law student, attacked the girl, who was known to be bright student, inside a Saibaba temple.

In the last two crimes, the state government gave an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh each to the families of Tejaswini and the minor girl.

Enraged over these incidents, Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy deputed Disha special officers Kruthika Shukla and Deepika Patil to visit the families of Tejaswini and the minor girl.

Home Minister Mekathoti Sucharita visited both their families and spent some time with them. Reddy also met the family of Tejaswini.

Back in February, aimed at cracking down upon crime against women, the AP government launched an app, Disha, dedicated to protect women.

Following back to back attacks on women in very less time, Reddy advised that all women should download the app, starting from teenage girls.

He said girl students should be educated to use the app in schools and colleges.

Reacting to the crimes on women, Indira Priyadarshini Tirunagari, a women’s empowerment campaigner based in Vijayawada said the time is ripe for families to educate their sons about respecting and protecting women.

“I also blame the law and order situation. I don’t know what the police are doing. The roads are not at all safe,” Tirunagari told IANS, who teaches specially abled children as well.

As a person who works towards enforcing the Visakha Act, aimed at containing sexual harassment at workplaces, Tirunagari said parents are not educating boys.

“Unlike earlier times, crimes on women are being committed by educated people as well,” said Tirunagari.

Meanwhile, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) cadres have protested against crimes on women in Visakhapatnam on Monday.

Vangalapudi Anitha, TDP leader and Telugu Mahila president wrote to the Visakhapatnam police commissioner against the crimes.

“It is appalling to note that increased and repeated attacks on women in the state in general and Visakhapatnam in particular. This (minor girl case) is the third ghastly attack on women in a span of two to three weeks,” said Anitha.

She alleged that the government is attempting to hush up the attacks on women by simply rendering financial compensation to the victim’s family.

“Such washing away of responsibilities by the government through financial compensation is only encouraging the perpetrators to repeat such attacks against women,” she claimed.

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