Sheer chance, intensive grilling led police to ATM attacker

Jyothi's assailant roamed Cubbon Park when cops were hunting for him

Sheer chance, intensive grilling led police to ATM attacker

Madhukar Reddy spent four hours loitering in Cubbon Park after savagely attacking Jyothi Uday in a Corporation Bank ATM at NR Square here on November 19, 2013, oblivious of the massive police hunt for him.

He then returned to his hostel room at Hudson Circle, ate lunch and boarded a bus for Hindupur around 1.30 pm, as if nothing had happened.

The horrific attack — whose CCTV footage was beamed on news channels — prompted the Bengaluru police to launch what turned out to be the biggest manhunt in the history of South India. But three years later, in November 2016, they filed a ‘C’ report in the case, saying the culprit was untraceable. This effectively meant the manhunt had been called off.

Cut to February 4, 2017. It was pure coincidence that Jyothi’s attacker was traced. Reddy was jailed in 2006 for murdering a man in his village, but he escaped from the Central Prison, Kadapa, in 2011. While on the run, he committed another murder, besides the ATM attack.

To track down the murder convict, the Andhra Pradesh sent his pictures to all police stations in that state. It was good old-fashioned policing that helped them to trace him. A traffic constable saw a man moving in a suspicious manner on Nallapalli road in Madanapalle, Chittoor district, on the evening of January 31, 2017. The constable questioned him but wasn’t satisfied with his reply. He turned him over to the law and order police. As sleuths grilled him, Reddy quickly confessed to being the murder convict they were looking for. He also spilled the beans on the other murder.

Shocked by his disclosures, police kept grilling him. He made the biggest confession on Saturday morning when he revealed that he was the elusive ATM attacker. A senior police officer in Bengaluru, who had overseen the ATM attack investigation for sometime, said the Andhra Pradesh police didn’t have the faintest idea that Reddy was Jyothi’s attacker. It was sheer chance that his role in the ATM attack came to the fore, the officer told DH.

Bengaluru Police Commissioner Praveen Sood said, “The Andhra Pradesh police have arrested a person named Madhukar Reddy who is believed to be involved in the ATM attack case in November 2013. We will take him into custody for further investigation. We have sent a team to Andhra Pradesh.”

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