An advocate in Telangana was waylaid, dragged out of his car and stabbed to death Monday evening in Mulugu district. The incident took place around 6.30 pm when Malla Reddy, an advocate practicing in Warangal, was returning to his residence at Hanamkonda in his Toyota Innova car from Mulugu, police said.
Condemning the murder, the Telangana High Court Advocates Association has called for holding a general body meeting Tuesday afternoon to discuss the matter, while the Bar Associations of other courts across the state have called for abstaining from work.
Malla Reddy’s driver told the police that the 55-year-old lawyer was dragged away into the bushes by the roadside. The assailants wore clinical masks and seemed unfamiliar to me, the driver said. Sangram Singh G Patil, Superintendent of Police, Mulugu district, said that it was too early to pinpoint the reason behind the murder as police have initiated an investigation into all possible leads.
Advocate Malla Reddy owned a petrol pump and was also into the mining business. There are at least 10 cases registered against him in Mulugu district and most of them are land disputes. “There are a lot of speculations, cannot pin down the exact reason for the murder. Even the driver does not know what exactly transpired, as the victim was dragged away into the bushes. We came to know that there are 10 cases, mostly land disputes, registered against Reddy in the district,” said the SP, while adding there was no known threat to his life.
According to him, the assailants came in a white car, presumed to be a Swift Dzire. At Pandikunta cross, their car dashed the victim’s car from the rear. There were five men in the car. At first, they apologized to Malla Reddy for the accident, Patil said.
“Suddenly, two people got hold of the driver and three others dragged the victim to the bushes. They stabbed him with a knife and fled the scene. We have recovered the knife from the place. The driver could not identify the assailants as they wore Covid masks. We are investigating,” the SP told indianexpress.com. A murder case was registered at Mulugu police station. The police officers spoke to the family and relatives of the deceased to know if they suspected anyone.
Advocates wear black badge
The secretary of Telangana High Court Advocates Association Gadipally Malla Reddy said the bar association has condemned the murder and all advocates have decided to wear a black badge on August 2 as a mark of protest. “We are going to protest at the Bar council gate at 1.30 pm Tuesday after which we will hold a general body meeting to discuss the matter. We demand the Director General of Police investigate the case thoroughly and book the culprits. We demand that no such incident should be repeated against an advocate in the state,” he said.
In February 2021, advocate couple Gattu Vamana Rao and PV Nagamani, who practiced at the Telangana High Court, were waylaid and pulled out of their vehicle and brutally hacked to death by two people in full public view on a highway in Peddapalli district. The incident was witnessed by scores of commuters and shot on mobile phones, the visuals of which were widely circulated on social media.