A middle-aged man and his wife were tied to a pole and burnt alive by his brothers in full public view at Dubbak village in Siddipet district, Telangana, on Thursday evening.
Kadaverlu Sudershan (56) and Rajeshwari (52) succumbed to burns at Secunderabad’s Gandhi Hospital in the early hours of Friday. The accused – Srinivasulu and Mallesham – are still at large.
Siddipet police commissioner V Siva Kumar said the accused believed Sudershan was responsible for killing their father through black magic a year ago. However, he did not rule out a property dispute between Sudershan and his younger brothers as the motive either.
Kumar said the duo, both residents of the BC Colony in Dubbak, convinced local residents that Sudershan had been practising sorcery for some time now. Their suspicions were strengthened when an infant and a buffalo died in the locality recently.
Srinivasulu started behaving strangely on Wednesday night, running through the streets with loud proclamations that his elder brother had sent a ghost after him. Following this, enraged residents beat up Sudershan and his wife.
The next morning, the couple lodged a complaint with the Dubbak police. The two brothers were called to the police station and asked to resolve the dispute amicably, without dragging it to court.
Later that night, Srinivasulu and Mallesham attacked Sudershan and his wife at their residence and dragged them outside. They tied the couple to an electric pole and beat them up, before dousing them with kerosene and setting them afire in front of all their neighbours.
When Sudershan’s children – Renuka and Sridhar – tried rescuing them, the accused poured kerosene over them too. However, they managed to escape and alert the police. By the time Bhompalli police sub-inspector Srinivas reached the spot, the couple had sustained severe burns.
The two were rushed to a medical centre at Siddipet, which referred them to Gandhi Hospital.