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4 men confess to gang-rape & murder of Priyanka Reddy as crowds demand death sentences in India’s Hyderabad (VIDEOS)

The four men accused of raping and murdering a 27-year-old woman on the outskirts of Hyderabad have confessed to the gruesome crime. Meanwhile, mass protests swept across the state, resulting in heated standoffs with police.

Tens of thousands of people poured onto the streets of Hyderabad, and elsewhere across the state of Telangana, as the accused appeared before a district magistrate on Saturday. Police had to call in reinforcements to prevent lynching, escorting the suspects through the angry masses in one piece.

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As the crowd grew increasingly violent, throwing slippers at the officers and refusing to let them pass, police were forced use batons to disperse the mob.

The accused – two lorry drivers and their accomplices, identified as Mohammed Areef (26), Jollu Shiva (20), Jollu Naveen (20) and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu (20) – confessed to the crime and were sent to 14-day pre-trial custody.

The gang deliberately punctured one of the wheels of Priyanka Reddy’s bike to stall her and offer “help” with repairs, police commissioner VC Sajjanar told a press conference. She was then dragged away from the toll road, raped and strangled. Her body was taken some 25km away and burnt under a bridge.

The harrowing crime resonated throughout Indian society, with crowds of protesters virtually besieging the police station since Friday, demanding that the accused be publicly hanged or burned to death. Authorities have promised to fast-track the proceedings.

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