Annam Subbaiah, a 56-year-old rickshaw puller who caused a sensation in the two Telugu states by raping a nine-year-old girl in Dachepalli in Guntur district, was found hanging to a tree.
The police said that the body of the culprit was found hanging to a tree near the Daida Amaralingeswara Swamy temple in Gurajala mandal in Guntur district. Director General of Police Poonam Malakondaiah released the relevant photograph and the deceased's last phone call this morning.
AP Home Minister China Rajappa also confirmed that the body belonged to Annam Subbaiah.
Subbaiah was believed to have repented his heinous deed and told a friend before dying that he was ashamed of the act and had brought disrepute to his family. A recorded conversation of a phone call between Subbaiah and his friend has gone viral. In the call, he is heard telling his friend that he had no face to show to his people and that he had done it in haste. Subbaiah also says that his dirty act had even spoilt the reputation of his son.
The friend is heard pleading with the accused to reveal his location, and the accused refusing and saying that he was going to end his life after hanging up.
The DGP expressed suspicion that the accused was mentally unsound. Subbaiah had married twice but both wives had deserted him.
The rape in Dachepalli on Wednesday night caused a huge outrage with people taking to the streets demanding justice for the survivor's family. The relatives of the girl protested through the night against police inaction, and others joined them on Thursday to block the Addanki-Narketpally highway leading to a huge traffic jam. The protesters demanded that the accused be immediately arrested, and even went on a rampage and damaged a few buses for a while. The locals also observed a shutdown. Some demanded that Subbaiah be hanged in public.
The police had a tough time controlling the protesters, and additional forces were called to control the situation. The DGP said that the accused had been booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act, which was amended last month by the Central government to prescribe capital punishment for the rapists of children younger than 12.
The survivor is undergoing treatment in a government-run hospital in Guntur. Two ministers P Pulla Rao and N Anand Babu visited the hospital, and assured all possible assistance to the girl's family.