INDIA: Mysterious death of a person not investigated at all by the by the Andhra Pradesh state police


Urgent Appeal Case: UA-195-2007
ISSUES: Police negligence, Police violence,

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from its local partner based in Andhra Pradesh, India regarding the death of a person in mysterious circumstances and the failure of the local police to investigate the case. In fact it is alleged that the local police officers are trying to protect the criminals from being arrested and preventing the case from being investigated.


Mr. Palli Subrahmaniam, son of Sahib was an employee in a timber mill jointly owned by Mr. Vanapalli Ramakrishna and Mr. Narayanamurthy. Subrahmaniam’s father was also an employee at the same mill. Subrahmaniam’s father died on 5 February 2007. Sahib, Subrahmaniam’s father had worked in the mill for about 40 years while Subrahmaniam was working in the mill for about 14 years.

The mill owners had withheld some payments due to Subrahmaniam and since he required some money for the funeral rituals for his father he approached the mill owners asking for the money which was due to him. This he did between 6 and 8 February 2007. It is alleged that Subrahmaniam met Mr. Vanapalli Ramakrishna and asked for the money due to him. No body knew what happened after this, but Subrahmaniam’s severely injured body was found discarded in a bush near the Road Transport Corporation Bus Depot in Ravulapalem on 8 February 2007.

The information regarding the recovery of the body was intimated to the local police immediately by Mr. Bethireddi Sreenivasa Reddy, a porter at the bus station. The officers from the Ravulapalem Police Station arrived at the scene and a case of suspicious death was registered at the police station as crime number 19/2007.

It is alleged that the police arrived at the scene led by the Circle Inspector of Police Mr. Suryach Andhra Rao, attached to the Ravulapalem Police Station. It is also alleged that the police soon spread a story regarding the cause of death as ‘falling from a coconut tree’, since the body was found under a coconut tree. It is alleged that the reason why the police started spreading the story of ‘death by accident’ was because the Circle Inspector investigating the case was influenced by one of his colleague Mr. Vanapalli Subrahmaniam, who is also a Circle Inspector of Police, stationed at the Gannapavaram Police Station in West Godawari District. Mr. Vanapalli Subrahmaniam is the son of one of the mill owners, Mr. Vanapalli Ramakrishna.

The eyewitness statements say that the investigating officer, Mr. Suryach Andhra Rao dragged Subrahmaniam’s body from where it was found even before the primary evidence from the scene was collected. The body was later shifted to the Kothapetta Government Hospital mortuary. On the same day at about 2.30pm the primary inquest upon the body was held. The purpose of the inquest is to describe the scene and manner in which the body was first found. However in this case the body was first moved away from the scene and later the inquest was held at Kothapetta Community Hall Mortuary. 11 injuries were noted on the body. The inquest is not carried out by experienced medical professionals. A translation of the injuries noted in the inquest is as follows:

1. A big injury on the head with blood 
2. Injury on the ankle of the right foot
3. Injury with blood on the right knee
4. Injury on the main nerve of the right foot and toes
5. Injury with blood on the neck, as if a rope had been tied to the neck
6. Injury with blood below the knee of the right leg
7. Injury with blood on the left chest at three spots
8. Blood oozing out from the ears
9. Ruptured injury on the forehead 
10. Injury on the left eye
11. The front teeth broken

On the same day at about 4.30pm the body was sent for postmortem examination. Dr. Nalini Mohan, Civil Assistant Surgeon at the Kothapetta Community Health Centre conducted the postmortem examination. The postmortem report confirms the injuries noted on the body in the inquest. Additionally the report rules out the possibility of death due to fall from a tree, but categorically mentions that there is a ligature mark on the neck and that the most probable cause for death is due to homicide. The final opinion is however reserved for the completion of chemical examination of the internal organs.

The crime registered by the Ravulapalem police was amended twice in the meanwhile. First the crime was registered under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. This Section applies for cases of reported suicides or unnatural deaths. The Section was later amended to 302 read with 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. However the police refused to implicate anyone in the crime as the accused in the case.

In the meanwhile the locals started protesting against the failure of the police to investigate the case and they organised protest meets in the town. Human rights activists who organised the meet were arrested and assaulted by the police during the meet. Due to this pressure, the police incorporated the names of Mr. Vanapalli Ramakrishna, Mr. Narayanamurthy and Mr. Sathi Suryanarayana Reddi as the accused in the case. Additional penal provisions from the Scheduled Caste and the Scheduled Tribe Act, 1989 were also added in the charge sheet. This, is because Subrahmaniam was a member of the Scheduled Caste – Mala, of Andhra Pradesh.

However as of today none of the accused has been arrested. It is alleged that the reason why the police is refusing to arrest the accused is because of the influence of the Circle Inspector of Police Mr. Vanapalli Subrahmaniam the son of one of the mill owner, Mr. Vanapalli Ramakrishna.


Please write a letter to the relevant authorities mentioned below, to ensure that the accused in this case are arrested and a proper investigation into the case is conducted by the police and the murderers punished.

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Dear ___________,

INDIA: Mysterious death of a person not investigated at all by the by the Andhra Pradesh state police

Name and address of the victim: Mr. Palli Subrahmaniam, aged about 30 years, son of Mr. Sahib, Gogivaripeta, Kothepet Mandal, East Godawari District, Andhra Pradesh
Alleged perpetrators:
1. Mr. Vanapalli Rama Krishna
2. Mr. Narayanamurthy
3. Mr. Sathi Suryanarayana Reddi
[All are accused in crime 19/2007 registered by the Ravulapalem Police Station]

I am writing to you to express my concern about the lack of proper investigation in crime 19/2007 of Ravulapalem Police Station registered in connection with the death of the victim named above. I am informed that the case which first got registered as one of unnatural death, after the completion of the postmortem examination and due to pressure for investigation by the local people was converted into that of murder of a Scheduled Caste person.

I am informed that the reason why the local police is refusing to investigate the case is because of the influence of Circle Inspector of Police Mr. Vanapalli Subrahmaniam the son of one of the accused in the case, Mr. Vanapalli Ramakrishna. It is alleged that this officer is now stationed in West Godawari district.

I am informed that the local people as well as the family of the victim is not satisfied with the progress of the investigation of the case and that there are enough and more reasons to suspect the accused for being involved with the death of the victim.

I therefore urge you to take immediate action in this case so that the case is investigated outside the influence of corrupt and nepotic police officers and that the accused are brought to justice without any further delay.

Sincerely yours



1. Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy
The Chief Minister
‘C’ Block, 4th Floor, AP Secretariat
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
Fax: + 91 40 23452498, 23454828

2. Sri K.Jana Reddy
Minister for Home Affairs
Block-J,Floor-8,Room No-801
AP Secretariat, Hyderabad
Andhra Pradesh
Fax: + 91 40 23457687
EMail :

3. Special Chief Secretary to Govt.
Department Of Home
A-Block, Floor – 5, AP Secretariat
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
Fax: + 91 40 23453170

4. Principal Secretary to the Government of Andhra Pradesh
Department Of Home
A-Block, Floor – 5, Room No-502
AP Secretariat, Hyderabad
Andhra Pradesh
Fax: + 91 40 23450175

5. Mr. M.A. Basith, IPS
Office of the Director General and the Inspector General of police
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
Fax: + 91 40 23296570

6. The Superintendent of Police
Kakinada, East Godavari District
Andhra Pradesh
Fax: +91 884 2363000

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Case
Document ID : UA-195-2007
Countries : India,
Issues : Police negligence, Police violence,