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Advocate murdered at Tahasildar office

Staff Reporter

Assailants attack Ashok Reddy with sickle and swords

— PHOTO: G. RAMAKRISHNA

DISTRAUGHT: Grieving family member of S. Ashok Reddy in Hyderabad on Saturday.

HYDERABAD: An advocate was hacked to death by his client's opponents fighting for rights over a piece of land worth crores of rupees in Nanakramguda when he went to Serilingampally Tahasildar office to present arguments on Saturday.

Within hours of executing the macabre murder in daylight, four of the killers surrendered before the Chandanagar police, who, however, maintained that the assailants were still at large.

The 49-year-old lawyer, S. Ashok Reddy, and his ‘munshi', Chandrashekhar Reddy, drove to the Tahasidlar office in his Maruti 800 around 11 a.m. Ashok Reddy, who got off his car noticed his client's opponent Pratap Reddy walking towards him. The advocate is stated to have wondered why “Pratap Reddy had come alone”. He was unaware that Pratap Reddy's associates were hiding close by.

“After coming near him, Pratap Reddy sprinkled chilli powder on his face,” said Chandanagar Inspector B. Surender Rao. Even as Ashok Reddy cried for help, Pratap Reddy brandished a hunting sickle and began attacking him. His associates soon surrounded him and hacked him with swords. The attack was so swift and sudden that the victim's body bore 32 wounds.

The profusely bleeding lawyer collapsed and his assistant's efforts to shift him to a nearby hospital in an emergency ambulance proved futile as he was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.

The advocate was a resident of Central Excise colony near Bagh Amberpet and was retained by a certain Sanjeeva Reddy, who staked his claim over three acres and six guntas of land at Nanakramguda under the Tenancy Act. The land owners, Pratap Reddy, his brother, Dasharath Reddy and their cousins, too engaged lawyers and won the case in High Court.

But Ashok Reddy moved the Supreme Court filing petition for restoration of position. The Supreme Court allowed his petition. Based on the apex court order, the lawyer approached the Tahasildar for implementation of the order.

“Oral arguments of both sides were being heard. Ashok Reddy even filed written arguments. I was supposed to hear the case today again, but got held up in city on some work when this happened,” A. Padmasri, Serilingampally Tahasildar, said.

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