No one helped. Police suspect an illicit relationship may have led to the gruesome murder of Maruti Reddy on Thursday morning. Around 10.30 am, 32-year-old Maruti Reddy, from Devagudi village in Jammalamadugu mandal, had been on his way in an auto to the district court to appear in a case.
Close to the court, the assailants, suspected to be Srinivas Reddy and Raghunath, pulled him out of the autorickshaw and attacked him with a machete, police said. He collapsed near the median on the road. While the injured victim lay motionless, one of the assailants pinned him down and the other hacked at him with the machete, striking 11 blows in a matter of minutes.
All this while, people on the road continued with their chores. No one dared intervene. Some even filmed the macabre murder on their mobiles. Within a few minutes, the incident went viral on social media, triggering public outrage against the police. After the attack, the assailants walked away. Only then did people approach the body and inform police, which arrived later and took the body away for a post-mortem examination.
Srinivas and Raghunath reportedly surrendered at Proddatur III Town police station. Though initial reports indicated the killing may have been the fallout of a previous clash between political factions, police, however, said there was no political motive. There were other conspiracy theories — that the assailants might have killed him as he was going to court to depose as a witness in a case.
Proddaturu police said an illicit affair had led to bad blood between the families of Maruti Reddy and Srinivas Reddy. “It is a murder due to jealousy-related disputes. No faction, no politics or groupism was involved. Earlier, cases were registered against them in the same dispute,” Kadapa superintendent of police D Ramakrishna told TOI.