The families of the four rape-murder accused were shell shocked on hearing the news of death of their wards in a police encounter on Friday with a grieving father asking whether his son deserved such a treatment.
Mohammed Arif (26), Jollu Shiva (20), Jollu Naveen (20) and Chintakunta Chennakesavulu (20), all lorry workers, were arrested on November 29 for allegedly raping a 25-year-old veterinarian, killing her by smothering her and finally burning her body.
All the four were killed in an encounter on Friday morning when they snatched weapons from police and fired on police and tried to escape.
Key accused Arif's mother was at a loss for words and could only say that her son is "gone".
Arif's father had earlier said his son deserved the toughest punishment if he was guilty.
Grieving wife of Chennakeshavulu, Renuka, said police should kill her too as she is now all alone. They got married recently.
"I was told nothing will happen to my husband and he would come back soon. Now I don't know what to do. Please take me to the place where my husband was killed and kill me also," she said.
Jollu Ramappa said his son Shiva might have committed the crime, but didn't deserve such an end.
"Many people committed rapes and murders. But they were not killed in this manner. Why were they not meted out such treatment," Ramappa asked when mediapersons sought his reaction.
Locals said the four accused belonged to economically weaker families with poor literacy, yet earned well and led a lavish life-style spending on liquor and others.
Arif, from Jakler village in Narayanapet district in Telangana, had worked in a local petrol pump before becoming a truck driver. Chennakeshavulu was also a truck driver from the same village while Shiva and Navin worked as cleaners and belonged to Gudigandla village in Narayanapet district.
According to people who know them, Chennakeshavulu was suffering from kidney ailment.
"Parents couldn't control them as they were uneducated. But they were earning well and there was no accountability. They indulged in alcohol consumption from young age," a resident of Makthal said.