Only Rajinikanth can do this. Solve a murder case in Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, 175 km away from Chennai.
A murder most foul on 28 May perplexed the investigators in Nellore police. Late evening, neighbours found smoke emanating out of B Nirmala’s home in Ramalingapuram area in Nellore city. After the fire was extinguished, her partially burnt body was found. She was a widow who worked as a clerk at Sai Vidyaniketan school and lived alone.
But the police was convinced Nirmala had not died due to burn injuries or getting suffocated by the smoke.
“That’s because there were 15 stab injuries on her body, particularly around her neck. Her ear lobes had been cut off and her jewellery had been taken away,” says Aishwarya Rastogi, SP, Nellore.
But though the police registered a murder for gain case, there was no evidence available in the house to make any headway. Nor had the neighbours heard any commotion or any screams to indicate that someone had forced his or her way into the house and killed Nirmala.
It was then that the police decided to peruse the CCTV footage around the area. It found that on that evening, an autorickshaw with Rajinikanth’s sticker on it had been captured at the school where Nirmala worked. The school is just 300 metres from her home and the auto seemed to have waited near the school that evening and subsequently followed her to her residence. Three special teams were formed to check on all the 10000 autos plying in Nellore.
Rajinikanth who had played the role of an auto driver in his superhit `Baasha’, was key to getting the lead and possibly the culprit.
The police teams showed the photograph of the auto to auto union guys and managed to zero in on the vehicle. Subsequently when the sleuths checked, they found the auto driver’s fingerprints inside the house as well.
“The accused Ramaswamy was under a lot of debt and was in an illicit relationship with the victim. He had no previous crime history and decided to do away with her, take her jewellery to repay his debts. His attempt to sell the gold chain and bangles had also been caught on CCTV,” says Rastogi.
Ramaswamy was a Rajinikanth fan and hence the Superstar’s photograph on his autorickshaw. Cooling his heels in judicial custody now, he may nurture a grouse against his idol for letting him down. But in the bargain, Rajini has earned several fans in uniform in Nellore.