Vet murder scan on petrol sale in bottle
Police are seeking legal opinion whether a case can be registered against the employees of a fuel outlet for selling petrol in a bottle to four men accused of raping and murdering a woman veterinarian and burning her body.
Four truck drivers have been arrested in connection with the November 27 crime at a toll plaza on Hyderabad’s outskirts after the discovery of the 27-year-old woman’s charred body.
It’s suspected the attackers had poured petrol on the body and burnt it.
“We are verifying with those working at the fuel outlet under what circumstances they filled the bottle with petrol. We are seeking legal opinion,” Cyberabad police commissioner V.C. Sajjanar said.
Officers said one petrol station had refused to fill the suspect’s bottle before another outlet obliged.
Rajiv Amaram, joint secretary of the Consortium of Petroleum Dealers for South India, said the fuel outlets were authorised to fill bottles or cans in limited quantities —up to 5 litres for petrol and 200 litres for diesel.
He, however, said that keeping in mind recent incidents, the state government had asked the outlets not to sell petrol in bottles or other containers.
Amaram cited the daylight torching of a woman tehsildar in her office near Hyderabad over a suspected land dispute. Vijaya Reddy, who was in her mid-30s, died on the spot and two of her office staff got injured trying to rescue her. One of the staff members, as well as the accused, later died of their injuries.
“Since then, many fuel stations have been refusing to fill bottles or cans,” Amaram said. “(Our) association too discourages it because if something goes wrong, we are summoned to police stations and are subjected to scrutiny.”