The Cyberabad police, which is investigating the alleged rape and murder of a Hyderabad veterinarian, on Monday approached a court to seek the custody of the four men who were arrested in the case, PTI reported. The accused are presently in judicial custody.

Police submitted the plea for custodial interrogation in a court in Mahabubnagar district, an unidentified senior official said. The court may take up the petition for hearing later in the day.

On Sunday, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao had said that a fast-track court would try the case.

The incident took place on Wednesday evening after the woman left home to visit a dermatologist in Gachibowli. She parked her two-wheeler near Shamshabad toll plaza and took a shared cab from there around 6.15 pm. On her way back home, the woman realised that the rear tyre of her vehicle was punctured. Around 9.15 pm, the four accused – identified as Jollu Shiva, Jollu Naveen, Mohammad Areef and Chintakunta Chennakesavulu – approached her with offers to help. The accused switched off the woman’s phone and raped her near the toll gate.

After killing her, the four men reportedly placed her body under a bridge and set it on fire around 2.30 am. The woman’s family has alleged that the police delayed filing a first information report when she was reported missing. Three officials were suspended on Saturday for the delay in filing an FIR.

One of the accused in the case had driven a truck for over two years without a licence and was allegedly caught around 48 hours before the episode, The Times of India reported on Monday. Police said Areef was stopped in Mahabubnagar district on November 25, but evaded arrest and the seizure of his vehicle.

The incident has triggered widespread criticism of the law-and-order situation in the state. As public figures arrived at the colony where the woman lived in Shamshabad on Sunday, angry residents locked its gates and held up placards that read: “No media, no police, no outsiders”, and “no sympathy, only action, justice”.

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