Just a day after the grisly Peddapalli murder incident
, where an advocate couple, Vaman Rao and Nagamani, were hacked to death by two unknown assailants, TPCC head and MP N Uttam Kumar Reddy today alleged that the bigwigs of the ruling party, the TRS, were behind the incident.
Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan, Reddy said that the Congress would demand that a CBI probe be ordered into the incident, and that the leaders of the Congress would soon meet Telangana Chief Justice Hima Kohli regarding the matter. He also said that, apart from raising the issue in Parliament, the party would write a letter to India's Chief Justice S A Bobde.
The TPCC head also claimed that he suspected that the TRS regime, who was allegedly "looting the resources" of Telangana, was involved in the murder of the two advocates.
"It is likely that the TRS-backed sand mafia is behind the murder of the two lawyers. The couple was, in all likelihood, murdered to cover up the custodial death of a Dalit, Sheelam Rangaiah - he was reportedly killed while in judicial custody due to the third-degree torture of the Manthani police on May 26, 2020. It was advocate Nagamani who brought the matter to the notice of the Chief Justice of the country in a letter. The letter was later treated as a PIL," he said.
Elaborating on the implications of Nagamani's involvement in the case, Reddy added, "On May 27, 2020, the Telangana High Court had directed Hyderabad Commissioner of Police, M Anjani Kumar, to personally investigate Rangaiah's death. Kumar had then submitted a report to the court on June 19, 2020. Nagamani was asked to file a counter-petition against Kumar's report. Following this, a court order, by then-Chief Justice of Telangana, Raghvendra Singh Chauhan, and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy, revealed that Nagamani had complained that she and her husband were being constantly harassed by the police, both at Manthani, their native place, and in Hyderabad, for their involvement in the case. According to her, her husband had been falsely implicated in two cases, and she too was being threatened over the phone by the police. Some police officials even threatened her by saying that the lives of her husband and children would be in danger if she filed a counter to the report on the custodial death. She was being pressurised by the police to withdraw the case, and had even sought protection as a result. Hearing this, the High Court asked her to file an affidavit on the matter."
"The last hearing of the case was held on February 7. At the hearing, Nagamani reiterated that false cases were being filed against her and her husband for taking up the custodial death case, and that they were constantly receiving death threats for taking up cases regarding atrocities committed on the SCs and STs in the state. All this clearly indicates that the murders were politically motivated - they were committed to silence the two whistleblowers," he said.
Reddy also claimed that the advocates had made powerful enemies in the TRS as they had filed several cases against the party's leaders.
"Nagamani and her husband had many enemies in the ruling party. They had filed several cases against the party's Peddapalli Zilla Parishad Chairman Putta Madhukar, and one raising the issue of the ineligibility of his wife, Putta Shailaja, to hold the post of Manthani Municipal Chairperson," the Congress leader said.
Reddy then accused the TRS of having contributed to the deterioration of the law and order situation in the state, and claimed that under the party's rule, criminals had stopped fearing the law and were indulging in brutal murders in broad daylight. He singled out Home Minister Mohammad Mahmood Ali, and flayed the latter for being "a dummy" who had "no control over the police administration" in the state.
The leader also slammed Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao for his silence on the gruesome murders, and warned him that the Congress would launch a mass agitation if those responsible for the incident were not punished.