T’gana Lawyer Couple Killed, Man’s Dying Testimony Caught On Cam
Earlier this month, T’gana HC had extended protection to the couple after they were allegedly harassed by the police
A man is seen covered in blood lying on a road as shocked passersby look on. Between gasps for breath, he says that an attempt to take his life was made by one ‘Kunta Srinivas’. He is shifted to a stretcher. The camera turns to a car parked near his body. The vehicle’s windows have been shattered and a woman, his wife is seen lying motionless in the back seat.
These were the visuals seen after an advocate couple from Telangana were waylaid and hacked to death by unidentified assailants on a road in broad daylight. The incident took place near Kalvacherla under Ramagiri police station limits in Peddapalli district.
The attack took place at around 3 pm. The deceased, identified as Gattu Vaman Rao and Gattu Nagamani, were returning to Hyderabad after appearing for a case in a local court in Manthani. While Nagamani succumbed to her injuries instantaneously, Vaman Rao died while being taken to the hospital.
According to reports, the assailants who were following their car, obstructed it and brutally attacked the couple with machetes. Before dying, Vaman Rao takes the name of Kunta Srinivas as the person behind the attack and says he is from Gunjapadugu village. Though allegations have been levelled that the man he names is Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Manthani mandal president Kunta Srinivas, the police are yet to confirm the same.
The car driver reportedly fled from the spot. He has been taken into custody for investigation. Police have increased their vigilance at checkposts to detain the assailants.
Recently, the couple had filed a petition about the alleged custodial death of a Dalit man in Manthani police station under Ramagundam police commissionerate.
It was earlier this month that the Telangana High Court had extended protection to the lawyer couple after they were allegedly harassed by the police for seeking a probe into the custodial death of Seelam Rangaiah last year. A bench comprising Chief Justice Hima Kohli and B Vijaysen Reddy were hearing a plea by the couple, that the police were allegedly harassing them with several FIRs in remote police stations in Telangana, since they had taken up the case. The court extended protection to the couple and posted the matter for further hearing in April.
Speaking about the attack, civil rights activist and advocate Chikkudu Prabhakar said, “The couple have been fighting against the government’s illegalities for the past few days in the high court. They have been exposing how the ruling party leaders have been exploiting public funds. The state government should take responsibility for this murder.”
“A few days ago they had sought protection claiming threat to their life by giving a representation to the Bar Association and notified the Chief Justice, too. The government was also notified. Yet, if they were killed in this manner, it is clearly evident that the ruling party members are behind the murder,” he added.
Condemning the murder, the Telangana High Court Advocates Association (THCAA) in a statement said that they unanimously condemn the murder of their colleagues and demanded that the culprits be prosecuted without any delay. “It is high time to take steps and initiate measures to enact ‘Advocate protection Act’ to rescue the advocate fraternity,” they said. Further, the executive committee of THCAA has given a call to protest against the murder in the Telangana High Court on Thursday.
(This story was first published in The News Minute and has been republished with permission)
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