A man was murdered on the outskirts of Vijayawada on Saturday night. The victim, identified as 33-year-old Mahesh, was out drinking with four of his friends when he was shot by two unknown persons, and died from the bullet wounds. The shocking incident took place around 10 pm, near the Nunna bypass road. Mahesh was reportedly working as an attender at the office of Bathini Sreenivasulu, the Vijayawada Commissioner of Police. The Commissioner reportedly inspected the crime scene early on Sunday morning.
According to reports, Mahesh was drinking alcohol with four friends in an open space near a bar in Nunna. At the time of the murder, only two of his friends, Dinesh and Harikrishna, were present. The other two friends had reportedly gone elsewhere. Dinesh, an eye witness, told TV9 that the two unknown persons who shot Mahesh passed by their group a few times before approaching. Police have reportedly said that the two men were on a two-wheeler.
Dinesh said that one of the men asked Mahesh and his friends if they were talking about women inappropriately. â€śMahesh went forward and told him we were talking about something else, and asked them to leave. The second person threatened us with a gun, and meanwhile the first person shot Mahesh. The second person then threatened us and asked us for money. We said we donâ€™t have anything, and they saw that we werenâ€™t wearing any (gold) chains either,â€ť Dinesh said.
According to Dinesh, the assailants further fired more shots, and one bullet hit his phone while the other one grazed his friend Harikrishna. â€śHari begged them to leave us, and started our car and gave it to them. They left in the car,â€ť he said.
Nunna police reportedly found the car abandoned a few kilometres away, along the Mustabad road.
While several reports suggest that police suspect real estate deals behind the murder, Maheshâ€™s family and friends have told the media that Mahesh did not have any rivalries.
Earlier in May, a man named Thota Sandeep was killed in the city, after a property dispute resulted in a violent clash between two groups. Vijayawada police had arrested more than 20 persons for their alleged involvement in the deadly brawl that took place near Patamata.
Watch: Eye witness Dinesh recounts the incident