IAS officer D Venkateshwara Rao, whose son Venkata Sukrut is accused of killing their driver, has accused police of confining him illegally for two days at the Jubilee Hills Police Station while they were questioning his son as well as his role in the murder.
Rao was admitted to a private hospital late on Tuesday night after he complained of dizziness while he was at the police station. He recorded a video from the hospital bed in which levelled allegations of extortion, intimidation and coercion against the police. “I myself took my son to the police station and handed him over to police. They first told me to leave, then made me sit in the police station for two days while they investigated the case. They tried to extort money from me, threatened to implicate me in the murder,’’ Rao said in the video.
He claimed that after he went to the police station on Sunday he was not allowed to go back until Tuesday night after which he was admitted to hospital.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (West Zone) A Venkateswara Rao, who is supervising the investigation, hit back at Rao saying the bureaucrat was making the allegations because he was caught in the act of trying to help his son to dispose of the body of the driver and conceal evidence.
“From call data records to CCTV footage to witnesses’ statements, we have every piece of evidence to nail Rao for trying to help his son,” the officer said.
“He is making these allegations because we have also registered a case against him and arrested him. He was called to the police station on Tuesday morning. While he was at the police station he refused to eat or drink water the entire day because of which he fell ill…’’ the officer said.
Police have included the bureaucrat’s name in the FIR for “attempting to cause disappearance of evidence of offence and also harbouring the offender”.
Using CCTV footage, call records and eye witness statements, the police claimed to have reconstructed the crime.
The police said that on March 17, Sukrut and driver B. Nagaraju went to the terrace of Sai Kalyan Residency at 10.30 pm and had liquor. There was an argument during which Sukrut caught hold of Nagaraju’s neck and hit him on his head with a brick.
The police said Nagaraju suffered a head injury and died. Cops said CCTV footage from the apartment showed Sukrut running down the stairs alone at 11.30 pm. Two minutes later, he went up to the terrace and took the keys of Nagaraju’s motorcycle on which they had come from his pocket and went to his home at Madhura Nagar, according to the police.
At 1.25 am on March 18, Sukrut again came to the terrace of Sai Kalyan Residency and checked if Nagaraju was dead. After confirming that the driver had died, he started coming down, but then he remembered that he forgot to take the mobile phone of Nagaraju. He went to the terrace again and returned to the lift at 1.29 am and left from there with the phone. He got rid of the mobile phone and parked Nagaraju’s bike opposite a park and left the key on the bike.
According to the police, in the wee hours of March 18, Sukrut called up his father and informed him about the incident. “We think IAS officer Rao told his son that they should dispose the body and asked him to stay put till nightfall. On March 18, around 11 pm, Rao and Sukrut reached Madhura Nagar where his wife is living.
While Sukrut sat in the car, Rao went to the house and found his younger son, a minor, and his friend were studying. Seeing his father, the son told to his friend to stay and that he will come in five minutes. But Rao took his minor son also in the car and they reached the lane of Sai Kalyan Residency, Yousufguda, where the body of the driver was lying on the terrace, the police said.
While they waited, Sukrut went to the terrace and wrapped the decomposing body in a bed sheet and tried to bring the body to the fifth floor near the lift. But Maddukuri Janaki Ramaiah, who is owner of Flat No. 502, heard a sound, opened the door and asked him what he was dragging away, the investigators said.
When Sukrut gave vague answers, he started shouting that woke up the neighbours. Sukrut ran out at this point.
“We have technical evidence… and CCTV footage has been collected,’’ an officer said.