Court grants three-day custody of former Minister to Bowenpally police for further interrogation; husband still elusive

Taking into account that former Andhra Pradesh Minister Bhuma Akhila Priya Reddy can “harm” the kidnapped victims both personally and financially, a local court in Secunderabad on Monday dismissed her bail petition.

The court granted three days of custody of Akhila Priya to the Bowenpally police for further interrogation in the case.

Later in the day, the city police announced the arrest of Boya Sampath Kumar, 22, from Allagadda, and Nagaradoddi Mallikarjuna Reddy, 32 – both personal assistants of Akhila Priya and husband Madhoor Bhargav Ram Naidu, respectively. One Dorrlu Bala Chennaiah, 30, a driver from Kadapa, was also arrested for his role in the kidnapping of former national hockey player K. Praveen Rao and his two brothers — Sunil Rao and Naveen Rao.

They were apprehended by the Task Force team of North Zone led by inspector K. Nageswar Rao.

As many as 19 people, including the fugitive Bhargav Ram and Srinivas Rao Chaudhary alias Guntur Srinu, were accused in the crime. Referring to the offence as an organised crime which was “meticulously planned” and executed by the former Minister, Commissioner of Police Anjani Kumar said that they have gathered clinching evidence to prove her role.

“Right from recce of the area to procuring fake number plates, purchasing SIM cards and executing the crime, everything was well planned by Akhila Priya, Bhargav Ram and Guntur Srinu,” he said. The police seized five fake number plates, three mobile phones, and a two- wheeler from their possession. Divulging more about the case, Mr. Kumar said that three days prior to the kidnapping on January 5, Mallikurjana Reddy purchased six SIM cards in a mobile store at Miyapur to coordinate during the commission of the offence and further. Prime accused Akhila Priya, Bhargav Ram, Guntur Srinu, and others used those SIM cards, he said. He said that the confession statement of Sampath Kumar, who “actively” participated in the crime and the mobile phone tower location too from Vijayawada to Hyderabad was there to link the former Minister. As per the instructions of Akhila Priya, both Sampath and Bala Chennaiah conducted a recce of Rao’ residence at Bowenpally and shared the information to the former’s husband and Srinu. “During the investigation, it is established that Akhila Priya planned and executed the crime along with Bhargav Ram, Srinu and other accomplice in order to grab the land or extort money from the victims,” the Commissioner said.

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