An astrologer, who is also a murder accused on the run, was shot at by two unidentified assailants outside his house in Hyderabad’s Saroornagar Wednesday afternoon. The attack was reportedly a fallout of a bloody feud between two high-profile astrologer families of Pinkadimi village, 65km from Vijayawada.
Police said the bike-borne criminals fired three rounds at Kurapati Nagaraju, three of which hit in the abdomen. He is battling for life at a private hospital. An effluent astrologer from Pinkadimi village, Nagaraju is prime accused in the murder of Butham Durga Rao, a hotel owner and brother of famous astrologers Butham Govindu and Butham Srinivas.
Durga Rao was hacked to death on April 6 last year near Vijayawada allegedly by a gang hired by Nagaraju under instructions from his uncle Gandham Nageshwara Rao, another famous astrologer of Pinakadami. Nagaraju was absconding and Vijayawada Police thought that he was hiding in Mumbai.
To avenge their brother’s murder, Govindu and Srinivas allegedly hired a Delhi-based gang to eliminate members of the Gandham family. On September 24 last year, hired assassins shot dead Gandham Nageshwara Rao, his son G Maraiah and nephew P Maraiah, while they were travelling in a car for a court hearing, on the highway on Vijayawada outskirts.
The gang was arrested from Delhi a week later. Police said the attack was financed by Govindu, a multi-millionaire astrologist now living in London, and Srinivas. They added Govindu was apparently disappointed that Nagaraju was not in the car and vowed to track him down. Sources said a hired gang had conducted recce in Mumbai and Hyderabad for several months and found him living in a colony in Saroornagar under a false identity.