19-year-old Sudheer Elagala and Sai were on a bike in Hyderabad’s Kukatpally area, with Sudheer riding pillion. Sai, a friend of Sudheer’s brother, was dropping him off at the intermediate examination centre.
However, what was a routine affair turned into a day that Sai would never forget. Sudheer was hacked to death in broad daylight in a bustling area of the city.
The two were residents of Moosapet. When they were on their way, the two were tailed by four persons on Kukatpally Road.
“It all happened within two seconds. He tried to escape from them. He boarded a moving school bus…. But they pulled him out and attacked him mercilessly,” a horrified Sai told TNM.
At around 8.20 am, Sudheer and Sai were knocked down near the Kukatpally Metro Station by four armed men. Sudheer tried to run and even got on a school bus to escape the assailants. Before anyone could comprehend the situation, the armed gang pulled Sudheer down and attacked him with machetes.
“It was terrifying… I was just helpless there. They were all armed,” Sai recalled.
The incident is also seared into the memory of Asif, a store owner in the area.
“There was a traffic jam. I looked from my store since there was chaos. I didn’t understand what it was. Then I saw a boy being surrounded by three members, who had machetes. It was surreal...”
“With all their might, they mindlessly hacked him all over his body. The public gathered were just as shocked as me and remained still.”
“He (Sudheer) was still trying to run… after a powerful blow on his neck, he collapsed immediately. They left their weapons there itself and ran from the scene. However, one of them couldn’t. He tried to run, but by that time, the public made cries to catch him and a traffic constable along with a few people snatched away the machete and grounded him,” Asif said.
The four accused were identified as Mahesh, Teja, Naveen and Krishna. While Mahesh has been detained, the others are still at large.
According to the police, Sudheer died almost immediately due to the deep cuts on his neck and his head.
N Bhujanga Rao, Kukatpally Assistant Commissioner of Police, said that it was an “act of vengeance” over a petty issue.