A local court here on Tuesday sent a 40-year-old man to life imprisonment, holding him guilty of a murder he committed four years ago.

Shaik Nazeer Ahmed, a sweeper in the railway mail service wing at the General Post Office at Abids, murdered another sweeper G. Babu Rao on the GPO premises on the night of February 2, 2009 and took away Rs. 9 lakh from the cash chest.

Second Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge of Nampally D. Dharma Rao held the accused guilty and awarded him a life term for the murder and three years rigorous imprisonment for the theft. Both punishments run concurrently.

Rao was on watch duty on the night of the incident, when Ahmed offered him liquor as part of his plan. He later smashed an inebriated Rao's head with a boulder, broke open the cash chest kept in the building, collected the money and disappeared. However, Abids police caught him the very next day and also recovered the entire cash.

Ahmed confessed to the crime, saying he was desperate for money to clear his loans. He had got an opportunity to execute his plan to rob the GPO when the authorities instructed him to work as a watchman in place of one Haneef, who taken ill.

Ahmed managed to secure a duplicate key of the cash chest at the RMS office. He had tools like hammer and electric drill machine kept ready in a corner of the GPO building. He took leave for two days and Babu Rao, another sweeper, was directed to work in his place. Ahmed executed his plan but was soon caught.

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