Former Andhra Pradesh Minister Bhuma Akhila Priya Reddy and former A.P. Seeds Corporation chairman A.V. Subba Reddy was arrested by the Hyderabad police on Wednesday for their involvement in the kidnapping of former national hockey player Praveen Rao and his brothers. While Akhila Priya was taken into custody from her residence at Kukatpally, Subba Reddy, a close confidant of former MP Bhuma Nagi Reddy, the father of the former, was picked up at Madhapur later in the evening. However, Akhila Priya’s husband Bhargav Ram is at large, Commissioner of Police Anjani Kumar said. He said the victims, Praveen Rao, Naveen Rao and Sunil Rao, were involved in a dispute pertaining to 25 acres of land located at Hafeezpet with the accused persons.
According to Mr. Kumar, around 7.20 p.m. on Tuesday, a group of 10 persons claiming to be Income Tax officials barged into the victim’s house at Manovikas Nagar, Bowenpally, and started questioning them. One of them was wearing a police uniform. CCTV footage Soon, they locked the women and children in a room on the pretext of search and interrogation, while the victims were confined to the hall. An hour later, Sunil’s wife Sarita, who was at a neighbour’s house, returned home and found that the other inmates were locked up in a room.
As the three brothers were missing, the family members started looking at the CCTV footage and realised that it was not an IT search and that they had been whisked away in three different cars, the officer said. The kidnappers also took their laptops and mobile phones. Soon the police swung into action, verified the details and alerted their counterparts in the Cyberabad and the Rachakonda Commissionerates. Neighbouring Andhra Pradesh was also informed, as the investigators assumed the kidnappers might take the victims to Kurnool district.
“As there were several check-posts and tight vigil across the city, the accused could not take them anywhere and around 3.30 a.m. they released Praveen Rao, Sunil Rao and Naveen Rao in the KokapetNarsingi area on the outskirts of Hyderabad,” Mr. Kumar said, adding that the safety of the victims was their top priority. “They were rescued and brought home safely,” he said. The trio was at a farmhouse near Moinabad, where the kidnappers forced them to sign some documents. Efforts were on to arrest the absconding accused persons, who reportedly hail from Allagadda and other places in Kurnool district, the officer said.
Based on a complaint lodged by one of the family members, Katakaneni Manish, the police arrested Akhila Priya and Subba Reddy, Mr. Kumar said and added that later they found that the former Tourism Minister and her husband had planned and executed the crime. Narrating details of the land dispute, the city police chief said that in 2016, Mr. Praveen Rao and one of his six brothers had purchased 25 acres of land near Hafeezpet. Land deals There were certain issues pertaining to the land, which were mediated by Subba Reddy with the assistance of the late Bhuma Nagi Reddy. After the issue got resolved, an understanding was reached between Mr. Praveen and Subba Reddy, he said. However, Subba Reddy did not honour the terms of the understanding with Nagi Reddy. After the death of the latter, Akhila Priya and her sister Mounika approached Mr. Praveen for their share of land. When Mr. Praveen informed the Bhuma sisters about his transactions with Subba Reddy, Akhila Priya started threatening him, Mr. Kumar said.
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