ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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route to the hospital with the story that it was a stray dead body found by the way. At the hospital the post-mortem examination was performed the next day and the body was buried within an hour after the examination, without any efforts to get it identified, as was obligatory considering that it was supposed to have been a stray body. Photographs of the dead body taken prior to the post-mortem examination were deliberately spoilt and blurred pictures obtained. The police then quietly allowed the rumours to spread that it was Devara Nagulu who had died in lock-up. Knowing fully well that Devara Nagulu was alive and in their own custody, they allowed the public to think it was he who had died,, and the Press to run daily stories on what became known as the 'Devara Nagulu' case. Not only the SI of Macherla but the SP of Guntur district knowingly participated in misleading the people. Their bluff was almost called when a local Court gave an exhumation order to dig up the buried body and get it properly identified. The case had become so well known by this that thousands of people gathered on September 24 at Macherla burial grounds to watch the exhumation, To everybody's surprise, the body was missing from the grave. The SI had got it dug up the previous night, with the connivance of local Telugu Desam leaders, and thrown in the right canal of the Nagarjunasagar project which gives irrigation water to this part of Guntur. For good measure, the district SP then accused civil liberties people of having spirited away the dead body.

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