TRS leader among 3 arrested for murder of lawyer couple in Telangana

Hyderabad: A local leader of the ruling TRS in Telangana and two others were arrested in connection with the gruesome killing of a lawyer couple. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) party suspended him while advocates staged protests against the fatal attack on Thursday.

TRS Manthani mandal unit president Kunta Srinivas along with another person allegedly commenced the murderous attack on Gattu Vaman Rao and his wife P V Nagamani on February 17, as he bore some personal grudge, police said, ruling out any political reason behind the killing as of now.

According to the police, hours before the crime, Srinivas had attended a programme in Manthani in Peddapalli district as part of chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s (KCR) birthday celebrations.

Vaman Rao and his wife, both practicing lawyers in Telangana High Court, were travelling in a car when the assailants intercepted the vehicle and attacked them using knives and other sharp weapons on the main road. The incident took place in Peddapalli district, and drew widespread condemnation.

During his last moments, Vaman Rao had named the TRS leader as being responsible for the attack. His family members have also alleged a local TRS leader was behind the gruesome act. During the course of investigation, Srinivas and two others were arrested, police said.

Srinivas was among the two who carried out the attack, and both fled the spot after the incident. They later dumped sharp weapons and their blood-stained clothes in a barrage, police said. Srinivas had certain differences with Vaman Rao and he conspired to kill the lawyer couple due to that.

During the interrogation of the accused, it was revealed that they bore a grudge following differences that came up regarding the construction of a temple and a house in Gunjapadugu village, the police said. TRS general secretary M Srinivas Reddy, in a release, said that Srinivas was suspended with immediate effect.

In a related development, the Telangana State Human Rights Commission (TSHRC) on Thursday sought a report from the state Director General of Police (DGP) by March 10 over the gruesome murder of the lawyer couple. The commission on its own took cognisance of media reports about the killings.

The lawyer couple had moved the high court in September last year complaining that police were harassing and threatening them after they wrote a letter (which was taken up as Public Interest Litigation) to the court over the alleged custodial death of a man under the Manthani police station.

The couple had also filed PILs on various public issues in different courts, including in the high court. Condemning the killing of the advocate couple, lawyers held protests here and some other places in the state on Thursday.

They appealed to the government to set up a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the double murder and prosecute the accused in a fast-track court. They also demanded that the perpetrators be given sternest punishment.

Meanwhile, a bandh was observed by different political parties except TRS party inManthani town on Thursday. Police said the bandh was partial and peaceful.

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