Andhra villagers torch man to death

Hyderabad, May 31: Angry villagers in Andhra Pradesh Tuesday burnt alive a man in the presence of police after he attacked an 18-year-old girl, critically injuring her, police said. The Class 12 student Mounica has been taken to a Hyderabad hospital.

Babu, 23, a farm worker, was killed in Zafargarh village near Raghunathpally in Warangal district. A resident of Perumallagudem village in the same district, Babu was married and had three children, according to a police official.

He said Babu barged into Mounica’s house when her parents were away and tried to molest her. When she resisted, he hit her with a hammer.

Hearing the girl screaming, villagers rushed in, caught the man, thrashed him and set him ablaze even as policemen watched helplessly.

According to police, about 200 people were involved in the incident. Senior officers rushed to the village later.

A police officer said policemen were questioning Babu when villagers attacked him. They tried to resist but in vain.

Warangal district Superintendent of Police Prabhakar Rao told reporters that there was nothing the sub-inspector and four other policemen present there could do. “He could not have opened fire on the villagers who were already in an agitated mood over the heinous crime.”

Mounica sustained critical injuries on the head. She was taken to the MGM Hospital in Warangal and later shifted to Hyderabad and admitted to Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS). Police said she was still unconscious.

Women’s groups termed Babu’s killing as a case of “instant justice”. They said increasing attacks on women were forcing people to take law into their hands.

Warangal district council chairperson Dhanawanti said it was a lesson to those committing crime against women.

In the same district, police killed three youths in an alleged staged shootout hours after they attacked a college student with acid in 2008.