Vijayawada: The investigation into the recent Vijayawada gang war and the murder of Thota Sandeep has revealed that the gang members were inspired by Tollywood movies. The Vijayawada police, on 5 June, released TikTok videos made by some of the accused persons which show that they were trying to impersonate the gangsters in the movies.

The Vijayawada city police, led by chief Ch. Dwaraka Tirumala Rao, have arrested 13 people in connection with the gang war that led to Sandeep’s murder. The police have said that others who are absconding will be caught soon.

On 31 May, two groups – one led by Sandeep and the other by Manikanta alias KTM Pandu – clashed over a land dispute in Vijayawada city. Local people said the two men, both from the Kapu community, were inspired by ‘Vangaveeti’, a Telugu movie.

Sandeep, upset by the presence of Pandu at a meeting to discuss the land settlement, had a heated argument with the latter on the phone. They threatened each other during their conversation and challenged each other to a face-off to settle the dispute.

On Saturday, the two groups got into a brutal fight. Videos of the clash showed young men attacking each other with rods, sticks, and knives in broad daylight. Sandeep sustained deep cuts on his neck and died of his injuries. However, his family believes that it was a well-planned cold-blooded murder carried out in the guise of a gang war. Sandeep’s wife has alleged there was a political conspiracy behind her husband’s murder and demanded the accused be punished.

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