In a shocking development in Hyderabad veterinarian’s rape and murder case, all four accused were killed when they were trying to escape during investigations at the same spot where the woman’s body was found, the police said this morning.

The young woman’s rape and murder on November 27 had triggered protests across the nation after her body which was burnt, was found last week near Hyderabad.

The four men, Mohammed (26), Jollu Shiva (20), Jollu Naveen (20) and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu (20) had been taken to the scene of the crime at 3 am for a reconstruction as part of investigations, the police said.

Reuters reports N Prakash Reddy, a deputy commissioner of police in Shamshabad as saying that, “In the morning, at around 6-6.30, our persons have come to reconstruct the scene of crime and the accused have tried to snatch their weapons, and there was a cross-fire. In this, all the four accused have died. Two policemen have been injured.”

According to NDTV, they were at the spot where the charred body of the woman was found, around 60 km from Hyderabad, when, the police claim, one of the men signaled to the others, possibly to escape. There are also reports that two of the men attacked the police and tried to snatch weapons from them. The police fired at the men.

“The accused Mohammed Arif, Naveen, Shiva and Chennakeshavulu were killed in a police encounter at Chatanpally, Shadnagar today between 3 am and 6 am. I have reached the spot and further details will be revealed,” said Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar.