BENGALURU (Reuters/AFP) - Indian police shot dead four men on Friday who were suspected of raping and killing a vet in the southern city of Hyderabad last week, a local police official told Reuters.
The men were killed while trying to escape during a re-enactment of the crime staged in the middle of the night in the southern city of Hyderabad, a top police officer told AFP news agency.
"They were killed in crossfire. They tried to snatch weapons from the guards but were shot dead," Prakash Reddy, a deputy commissioner of police in Hyderabad said.
"We called an ambulance but they died before any medical help could reach them."
The charred body of the 27-year-old woman was found in the town of Shadnagar, about 50km (31 miles) from Hyderabad, on Thursday. The body had been wrapped in a blanket and doused with kerosene.
She went missing on Wednesday night and her body was found by a passer-by in an underpass on the outskirts of Hyderabad, the capital of Telangana state.
Police said the suspects allegedly offered to fix a flat tyre on her motorbike and then took her in a truck to a secluded spot where the crime was committed.
On Saturday, hundreds of protesters gathered outside a police station on the outskirts of Hyderabad, where the suspects were kept, demanding the four be handed over to them.
The chief minister of the state had promised to fast-track the case as protesters and lawmakers demanded tough and quick punishments, including public lynchings.
The mother of the vet, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told local media she wanted her daughter's attackers to be burnt alive.
India has a grim record of sexual violence against women, with an average of some 90 rapes reported each day in 2017, according to latest federal data.
A Thomson Reuters Foundation poll of gender experts in 2018 rated India as the world's most dangerous country for women.
The killing sparked fresh outrage in a country that has been in the international spotlight over the handling of sexual assaults by the authorities since the brutal gang rape and murder of a student on a bus in the national capital, New Delhi, in 2012.