Telangana Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali on Friday said the 27-year-old Hyderabad-based veterinary surgeon who was allegedly raped and murdered on Wednesday night should have called the police first instead of her sister. He claimed that this could have averted the incident.

“We are saddened by the incident, the police is alert and controlling crime. She was an educated woman, and yet she called her sister instead of 100 [police helpline],” Ali told ANI. “Had she called 100, she would have been saved. 100 is a friendship number, and we have to spread awareness on this among the people.”

After the comment triggered a controversy, Ali clarified and said he was “deeply saddened by the mishap”. He added that the victim was like his own daughter and said “stringent punishment will be given to the culprit”.

Meanwhile, the police have detained four people, including a truck driver and a cleaner, for the alleged rape and murder, according to The Times of India.

The woman’s charred body was found under a culvert in Chatanpally on the Hyderabad-Bengaluru National Highway on Thursday morning, hours after she went missing. The woman had left home around 5.50 pm on Wednesday for a clinic at Gachibowli. She parked her two-wheeler near Shamshabad toll plaza and took a shared cab from there, said the police. “When she reached the vehicle [on her way back home], she realised that the rear wheel had a puncture,” said Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar. “She was then approached by a few truck drivers present there offering help.”

The woman told them she would manage to get it repaired at a shop on the way. However, they allegedly convinced her that it was a risky proposition. “They sent a teenager along with the scooter to get it repaired,” said Sajjanar. “But he returned saying the shops were closed.”

The woman’s sister, who lodged a missing-person complaint on Wednesday night, said she last got a call from her at 9.22 pm. She said her sister told her that she was scared of the truck drivers and other unknown men in the area. “I even asked her to come away leaving the vehicle,” the sister told NDTV. “When I called after some time, her phone was switched off.”

The body was found around 25 km from the toll plaza. The police believe the woman was raped before being murdered and burnt.