8-year-old killed in Andhra Pradesh govt hostel
An eight-year-old boy was found murdered at a welfare hostel for other backward class (OBC) youth at Challapalli town in Andhra Pradesh’s Krishna district in the early hours of Tuesday, the police said. A 14-year-old student of Class 10, who is also a resident of the hostel, has been arrested in connection with the crime.
A case of murder under section 302 on the Indian Penal Code has been filed and the accused has been sent to a juvenile home, police added.
The body of Dasari Aditya, a class 3 student, was found near the bathroom of the hostel by students around 4am. They immediately alerted the hostel authorities who, in turn, informed the police. His throat had been slit.
The victim was the youngest among four children of Dasari Ravindra and Rajya Lakshmi, who work as agriculture labourers.
Challapalli sub-inspector M Nagaraju said the accused had woken up Aditya from sleep and took him to the washroom, where he slit the latter’s throat with a kitchen knife and returned to bed.
“The accused told us during the interrogation that he had a quarrel with Aditya in the hostel over some trivial issue and Aditya allegedly abused him. Enraged at this, he killed the junior,” Nagaraju said.
Moka Sattibabu, additional superintendent of police, Krishna district, said prima facie inquiries revealed that the murder had taken place after 2am.
“Inquiries with the students and hostel staff revealed that Aditya and his older brother were sleeping in their hostel room, when another student sleeping beside him woke him up and asked him to accompany him to the washroom,” Sattibabu said.
“Around 4am, when the other students went to the bathroom, they found the boy [Aditya] lying in a pool of blood,” he said.
No weapons were found near the body. “Unfortunately, evidence got erased due to large number of students gathering at the spot,” Sattibabu added.
Investigations revealed that neither the hostel watchman or the warden were present in the premises at the time.
The warden, Poranki Rama Raju, admitted that he was not in the hostel on Monday night. “In fact, I am not a regular warden for Challapalli welfare hostel, but belong to another hostel at Mopidevi (about 7km away). Since the previous warden was transferred recently, I was made incharge of Challapalli hostel on Friday,” he said.
Raju said he had been staying in Mopidevi hostel for the past two days as the authorities were due to visit the hostel for inspection. “I left for Challapalli only on Tuesday morning, when I got the information about the murder,” he said
Inquiries revealed that the hostel watchman too did not report for duty on Monday night. “We summoned them and are questioning them, apart from the hostel cook and the boy’s relatives,” Sattibabu said, adding that postmortem examination was still to happen.
The police had initially lodged a case of suspicious death but have now changed it to a murder case, after the accused confessed to the crime.
Earlier in the day, Rama Bhargavi, deputy director of welfare hostels in Krishna district, told reporters that a thorough inquiry had been ordered into the murder of the eight-year-old boy. “We shall take stringent action against the hostel staff for their negligence. We shall also install closed circuit cameras in the hostel,” she said.
P Achyuta Rao, president of the Andhra Pradesh Child Rights Association, appealed to the authorities to provide psychological counselling to other students who were in a state of panic and shock over the incident.