Akhila Priya could have harmed victims: police

Andhra Pradesh’s former minister Bhuma Akhila Priya Reddy was bent upon harming the three Katikaneni brothers, who were allegedly kidnapped by her associates on Tuesday evening, physically or financially, if she was not arrested, Hyderabad police stated in a remand report submitted to a local court.

“The accused are high profile political leaders and they can influence the victims and tamper with the evidence, if they are not arrested,” it said.

The remand report, a copy of which is with The Hindu, also cited that Akhila Priya’s husband Madhoor Bhargav Ram Naidu, who is currently absconding, was ‘habituated to crime’ and if not arrested he will continue his activities. All other accused, who were actively involved in committing the offence are still at large and if Akhila Priya is not arrested, she will communicate investigation development to them and will not hesitate to carry out physical attacks on the victims’ family, the report read. Earlier to the accused had trespassed into the property of the victims.

A senior officer associated with the investigation of the case said that teams were deployed to nab Bhargav Ram, Srinivas Choudhary alias Guntur Srinu and others.

“We believe Bhargav Ram did not leave Hyderabad, and is taking shelter at one of his friends’ place here, while other people who carried out the kidnapping went back to Andhra Pradesh in two groups,” he said.

The officer said that Bhargav was constantly coordinating with the advocates to get his wife out on bail.

In 2016, Katikaneni Praveen Rao and one of his six brothers had purchased 25 acres of land near Hafeezpet, which was mediated by TDP leader AV Subba Reddy with the assistance of the late Bhuma Nagi Reddy, Akhila Priya’s father.

“Two years ago, Praveen Rao paid a huge sum to Subba Reddy and settled the issue, but as the market value of that land parcel shot up drastically, both Subba Reddy and Akhila Priya started harassing the victims for their share,” the officer said.

As Praveen was not willing to give more money or share in the land, the former minister and her husband hatched a conspiracy to threaten them by kidnapping, the officer said. “And as part of their plan, they engaged Guntur Srinu, Sai, Chanti, Prakash and others to carry out the offence.”

The investigators also suspect that Akhila Priya conceived the plan to kidnap Praveen Rao and his brothers five months ago, and was waiting for the right time to execute it.

As part of the plan, Guntur Srinu recceed the area frequently and was once caught by the Bowenpally police while driving an SUV with a fake number plate. “When questioned, Srinu said he changes the number plates often fearing threat to his life from the rivals of a person with whom he was employed,” the police said. Teams were al sent to Allagadda and other places in Andhra Pradesh to nab the kidnappers.

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