"a person was in flames and screaming"
A software engineer was allegedly burnt to death by his in-laws after they accused him of performing black magic.
The 38-year-old had travelled from Hyderabad to Balwanthapur to send his condolences to his wife’s deceased brother.
However, on November 23, 2020, he was tied to a chair and allegedly burnt to death by his in-laws after they suspected that he had used black magic to kill the brother.
The police believe that more than one person may have been responsible for the killing. They suspect the brother’s family and relatives.
The deceased was identified as Pagilla Pavan Kumar, a resident of Alwal, on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
Pagilla worked for a Bengaluru-based software company but had been staying in his hometown.
Pagilla and his wife Krishnaveni travelled to Balwanthapur to pay respect to her brother Jagan, who died on November 14, 2020, after suffering a heart attack.
Mallyal sub-inspector of police Nagaraju said: “At around 7.30 pm, we received a call from the local people that a person was in flames and screaming in a room locked from outside.
“We rushed to the spot and broke open the door of the room.
“We found Kumar tied to a chair and completely burnt. He died instantaneously.”
A preliminary investigation revealed that Pagilla and Jagan got into a dispute a few months ago, during which, Pagilla threatened to kill his brother-in-law.
Krishnaveni told police that there had been some differences between her brother and her husband.
She said that on the day of the incident, her sister-in-law Sumalatha sent her to fetch a bottle of water.
“By the time I returned, my husband was locked up inside the room and was screaming while being burnt alive.”
Nagaraju said it was a clear case of murder, as Kumar was tied to a chair, doused with petrol and burnt to death.
By the time police reached the scene, Kumar was burnt beyond recognition. The body was shifted to a hospital for autopsy.
He continued: “Moreover, the room was locked from outside. So, we booked a case under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code and are investigating.
“We are questioning all the suspects and will crack the case soon.”
No arrests have been made as of yet but it was reported that Sumalatha suspected that Pagilla performed black magic to kill her husband.