In yet another tragic turn to the kidnap drama, Palagani Prabhakar Rao, whose 10-year-old daughter Naga Vaishnavi was abducted and murdered by his close relatives, died of heart attack on Tuesday morning at Help Hospital.

Mr. Rao went into a state of shock on Monday evening as soon as TV channels began flashing the news that the skeletal remains of his daughter, who was abducted in broad daylight on Saturday morning, were found in a blast furnace in a workshop near Guntur.

He was initially rushed to a heart specialist but was later shifted to Help Hospital for critical care and trauma management. Doctors said Mr. Rao's blood pressure dropped abysmally low and his heart stopped functioning despite best efforts.

A large number of people from different walks of life, besides elected representatives and leaders of different political parties, continued to throng the residence of Mr. Rao at Ayodhya Nagar, even as the police cordoned off the area.

The gruesome manner in which the little girl was killed by dumping her in a blast furnace and the death of her father out of shock led to a deep sense of outrage and anguish in the city, with people of all sections demanding stringent punishment to the culprits.

The police said it was the handiwork of Venkat Rao Goud, brother of Mr. Rao's first wife, and Goud's relative Srinivasa Rao, as Mr. Rao deserted his first wife after marrying Ms. Narmada. Goud nursed a grudge and wanted to stop Mr. Rao from registering a Rs.1.5-crore property in the name of the little girl.

They hired another person, who though was not a professional killer, to execute the task. The kidnappers throttled the girl in the vehicle within 15 minutes of abduction and dumped the body in the furnace.

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