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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Former Andhra Pradesh minister Bhuma Akhila Priya arrested in kidnapping case

The former minister was arrested in the abduction of three businessmen brothers who were whisked away from their residence Tuesday night by a group of kidnappers who posed as Income Tax officials.

By: Express Web Desk | Hyderabad | Updated: January 7, 2021 11:14:15 am
Bhuma Akhila Priya, Former Andhra Pradesh Tourism MinisterBhuma Akhila Priya with her husband. (Image/Twitter@bhuma_akhila)

Former Andhra Pradesh Tourism minister Bhuma Akhila Priya was arrested Wednesday in connection with the dramatic abduction of three businessmen Praveen Rao, Sunil Rao and Naveen Rao—all of them siblings— in Hyderabad. The three brothers were whisked away from their residence Tuesday night by a group of kidnappers who posed as Income Tax officials, after detaining other family members in another room. The TDP leader, according to police, is alleged to have planned and executed the abduction.

Hyderabad Police commissioner Anjani Kumar, speaking to the media, said that the police initiated a hunt for the kidnappers soon after receiving information about the crime. Special teams were formed and check-posts were erected on all important roads. “After realizing that they cannot escape, the kidnappers let off the three brothers near Narsingi (on the city outskirts) at around 3.30 am Wednesday. When they switched on their cell phones, they were traced and rescued,” he said.

On Tuesday evening, at around 7.20 pm, according to the family members, ten to fifteen persons barged into their home. Dressed in civil clothes and one of them in police uniform, they produced a search warrant, claiming they are from the Income Tax department. They searched the home and detained all family members in one room, while the three brothers were made to sit in the living room. An hour or so later, after one of the family members returned home to find the main door latched from the outside, the rest of them realized that the trio had been kidnapped.

“The three brothers Praveen Rao, Sunil Rao, and Naveen Rao were kidnapped over a land issue in Hafeezpet. Earlier in 2020 too, a case was booked in Miyapur PS after Praveen Rao complained against AV Subba Reddy,” Kumar said, adding that Bhuma Akhila Priya and her husband Bhargava Ram are A-2 and A-3, respectively, in the case. At 11.20, the commissioner said, Akhila Priya was detained from her Kukatpally home and brought to Bowenpally PS, he said.

The family members suspected the role of their relatives AV Subba Reddy, Bhuma Akhila Priya, and Bhargava Ram in the kidnapping. Bowenpally police have registered a case under charges of cheating by impersonation, wrongful restraint, wrongful confinement, house trespass, criminal intimidation, and kidnap among others.

Police found out that Wednesday’s incident is the result of a dispute that dates back to 2016 when Praveen, also a former national badminton player, purchased a 25-acre land in Hafeezpet. AV Subba Reddy, the prime accused in the kidnap case now, along with Bhuma Nagi Reddy had mediated to solve some issues over the land deal. While Praveen and Subba Reddy arrived at an understanding, Subba Reddy didn’t fulfill his terms of understanding with Nagi Reddy. After Nagi Reddy’s death, daughter Akhila Priya approached Praveen for a share in the land.

According to police, Akhila Priya started threatening Praveen with dire consequences when he directed her to Subba Reddy. It was to arrive at a settlement in the land issue that Akhila Priya and her husband hatched the kidnap of Praveen, Naveen, and Sunil with help of their henchmen, said police. Several suspects have been detained by the police and a hunt is on for all the absconding accused. Further investigation is on.

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