After disappearing mysteriously for nearly 36 hours, leaving his family and the police department in a shock, Nalgonda two-town Circle Inspector N. Venkateshwarlu returned home safe on Saturday.
It was a big relief for his worried family members. Even the police top brass heaved a sigh of relief but his sudden vanishing act and the return only added to the controversy surrounding the murder of Nalgonda Congress leader Boddupalli Srinivas and the investigation into it.
The murder of Srinivas, husband of Nalgonda municipal chairperson B. Laxmi, on January 24 assumed political tinge for various reasons. A long-time Congress leader and staunch supporter of Nalgonda MLA Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, he had joined the Telangana Rashtra Samithi a few months ago but returned to the Congress recently.
With top leaders of the Congress and TRS accusing one another in the murder case, CI N. Venkateshwarlu was apparently under severe pressure as he was the investigating officer. Though he ‘went missing’ after making crucial arrests in the sensational murder case, speculation was rife that his disappearance surely had something to do with the Congress leader’s killing.
But the Inspector rubbished all that on Saturday after his return. Speaking to The Hindu, he said he wanted to take a break from the tiring schedule involving investigation into two murders (in a second case, a person was decapitated) in his jurisdiction. “The situation was such, even if requested no higher officer would sanction leave. I had not slept for nearly six consecutive nights,” he added.
Soon after his disappearance, reports began doing the rounds that he was upset after his top officer had reprimanded him over wireless set, accusing him of mishandling the case. Six of the accused arrested in the case were charged under Section 202 of the Indian Penal Code (intentionally omitting to give information about offence).
A local court granted bail to them. Reportedly dejected over this, he left the town the previous day without informing anyone.
The CI, however, rejected those reports.