Hyderabad, Feb (IANS) In a horrific crime caught on camera, an advocate couple practicing in the Telangana High Court was brutally murdered in broad daylight by unidentified persons in the state's Peddapalli district on Wednesday.
Gattu Vamana Rao and his wife Gattu Nagamani, who were returning in a car to Hyderabad after appearing for a case in a local court at Manthani, were waylaid and stabbed indiscriminately by unidentified persons, who came in a SUV, near Kalwacheral in Ramagiri mandal.
The assailants blocked the way with their SUV, leaving no escape route for the couple. Buses and other vehicles came to a halt on both sides and motorists watched the killings in horror. Some of the passersby captured the gory pictures on their phone cameras. One of the videos shows assailants escaping in their SUV.
Videos which went viral on social media show Vamana Rao (53) and his wife Nagamani (50) being indiscriminately stabbed by two persons on the road. Rao was lying in a pool of blood on the road while his injured wife was seen sitting still, stuck between the two seats of the car.
Some passersby reached closed to Rao, who took the name of one 'Kunta Srinivas', said to be a local leader of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
Police shifted the couple to a hospital at Peddapalli where they died while undergoing treatment.
Police took the driver of the advocate couple into custody and began questioning him. Police also sealed several routes to stop assailants from escaping.
Ramagunda Police Commissioner V. Satyanarayana said six teams were formed to catch the culprits. "We will catch the culprits, no matter how powerful they are," he said.
The couple was arguing some controversial cases including a disproportionate assets case they had filed against Zilla Parishad Chairman Putta Madhukar.
They also filed Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on the alleged lockup death of a Dalit in Manthani police station. They had also sought protection alleging threatening calls from police.
The High Court in February this year had directed the police to ensure that the advocate couple was not harassed.
Vaman Rao's brother Indrasekhar said he was suspecting the hand of Kunta Srinivas, who was allegedly involved in land encroachments. The advocate was fighting the cases against him.
Congress leader and Manthani MLA. D. Sridhar Babu demanded judicial probe and also an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the incident.
BJP's state unit chief Bandi Sanjay also demanded a high level probe into the killing of the couple.
Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali condemned the murder calling it "inhumane". He said, in a statement, that the incident is being viewed very seriously and that the culprits would be dealt with stringently as per law.
"The investigation into the heinous murder of the advocate couple has been launched and special teams have been formed and pressed into action for apprehending the culprits who have already been identified by the police," he said.
Ali spoke to DGP Mahender Reddy and instructed him to ensure that thorough investigation is done and the culprits are nabbed immediately.
The Bar Council of Telangana strongly condemned the brutal murder of the advocates. It demanded the police to probe the murders and arrest the culprits.
It said the country is witnessing frequent attacks on advocates and that no person can take law into hands and that the matter shall be dealt with as per the law.
The Bar Council demanded the government to enact the Advocates Protection Act to safeguard the advocate community, who discharge their duties to protect the rights of the citizens.