Indian official burned alive by land owner over reported property dispute

A property dispute in southern India dramatically escalated on Monday after a revenue official was burned alive by an angry landowner in an attack that also left another member of her staff dead.

Vijaya Reddy, 37, was attacked at her office in the village of Abdullapurmet by a local farmer who set her and her office ablaze. She died from her injuries at the scene of the attack.

India's NDTV reported the suspect, identified as Suresh Mudiraju, snuck a bottle of kerosene into her office along with his land documents at the center of the dispute.

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Two staff members said they heard screams from inside the office, but discovered the door had been locked from the inside, the BBC reported.

Vijaya Reddy died after she was set on fire in her office on Monday after a property dispute.

Vijaya Reddy died after she was set on fire in her office on Monday after a property dispute.

"She managed to unlock the door and came out. We were trying to pull him away," Gurunnatham, her driver, told local media shortly after the incident. "She fell on the floor and, before we realized, fire was everywhere."

Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh M Bhagwat told news agency PTI that Gurunatham sustained serious injuries in the incident and later died at a hospital while undergoing treatment.

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Officials told NDTV that the suspect was angry about the state revenue department not fixing errors in his documents related to an ongoing court case involving property, despite making repeated trips to the revenue office.

Authorities were investigating if he acting alone, or committed the violent act on someone else's orders, according to the broadcaster.

The violent killing sparked protests in the village by locals that spread throughout parts of the country. Revenue employees have boycotted their duties and demanded justice in various districts, the Times of India reported.

The Telangana Revenue Employees Association told the BBC will boycott work for three days in protest.

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"It is very unfortunate that such an incident has taken place inside a government office," the group's president, Ravinder Reddy Vanga, said Tuesday.