In what appears to be a case of revenge, six members of a family, including two children, were brutally hacked to death in their house in Juttada village in the outskirts of Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh during the wee hours of Thursday.
The accused, Battina Appala Raju who used to live in the neighbourhood, entered the house at around 6 am on April 15 and allegedly murdered three women, a man, a 2-year-old boy and a 6-month old baby girl with a sickle. A sickle is a sharp tool used to cut grass.
According to news agency ANI, the accused’s daughter was allegedly raped by a member of the said family.
Andhra Pradesh: 6 members of a family killed by a man whose daughter was allegedly raped by a member of the said family; the alleged rapist is absconding. The incident occurred in Juttada village of Visakhapatnam district. Police team present at the spot, investigation underway. pic.twitter.com/Uu2PcOMQdR— ANI (@ANI) April 15, 2021
While ANI reports that the accused is absconding, other media houses have reported that the accused had surrendered to the police after the incident, who in turn took him into custody and launched a probe in the case.
Visakhapatnam Assistant Commissioner of Police (West) V Sripad Rao told the media that the victims were found lying in a pool of blood in a residence in Juttada village of Pendurthi Mandal. He added that the incident was a fall out of an old feud between the accused and the victim family.
Andhra Pradesh man kills 6 of family to avenge rape of his daughter
“The accused Appalaraju is a neighbour of the deceased. There was an ongoing dispute between their families. Because of that issue, he killed six members of the family with a sickle,” ACP Sripad Rao said.
ACP added that a dispute had occurred between the two families back in 2018, involving a member of the victims’ family, Vijay Kiran, and the daughter of the accused. Neighbours and relatives confirmed that Vijay had been booked for the rape of Appalaraju’s daughter back in 2018. The case is still under trial.
“Since the altercation in 2018, the two families have not been on talking terms. The issue further deteriorated and led to this incident,” Rao added.
“The accused was planning to kill Vijay Kiran but the latter was not at home. So, in a fit of rage, he killed all those who were present in the house,” a senior police officer who did not wish to be named said.
Following the incident, tensions have been brewing in the village. According to a Hindustan Times report, when Vijay Kiran came to know about the murder of his family members he dashed to the accused’s house with a few of his relatives to stage a protest. He demanded strict action against the accused and his family.
Kiran also refused to allow the police to shift the bodies to the hospital for post mortem till the accused was handed over to them. He demanded that the bodies be buried in fields belonging to Raju.