A plot by a group of top businessmen from the city and Warangal district to eliminate a city-based industrialist through a hired gang — including two Central Reserve Police Force constables — was busted by the police on Saturday.
While the prime accused V. Laxmi Manohar Rao, 50, CRPF constable B. Vijay Kiran, 30, and another person T. Babu, 53, were caught, others connected with the case are still at large, Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma said at a press conference. Among the absconding are CRPF constable B. Ram Babu, Yadagiri Reddy of Noma Function Hall in the city and Sarotham Reddy, owner of Ratna Hotel in Warangal.
Two pistols and a revolver, all country-made, along with 11 live rounds were seized from the arrested persons. It was dispute over ownership of 11 acres and 363 square yards of land at Sainikpuri with an estimated market value of nearly Rs. 50 crore that drove the group of leading businessmen to hire a gang to eliminate industrialist Amarender Reddy.
Amarender Reddy had purchased the land in 1989. The land owner Balraj and his family members allegedly sold the same land to some others, who made plots and sold them to 120 persons. The double registration naturally created a dispute between Reddy and the plot owners. Manohar Rao of Warangal, who had two plots, formed an association with other land owners and went to court.
As the prolonged legal battle failed to yield results in their favour despite having spent several lakhs of rupees, the frustrated Rao and other plot owners nursed a grudge against Amarender Reddy and approached T. Babu, who had connections with former Naxalites from Khammam.
Babu struck a deal for Rs. 25 lakh to kill the industrialist and collected Rs. 2 lakh in advance.
As per the plan, Kiran threatened Reddy over mobile phone to settle the land dispute or face death. He had also sent threatening letters to Amarender Reddy’s brother-in-law in the name of CPI (Maoists) of Chhattisgarh. But the industrialist ignored the threats following which Kiran and his colleague Ram Babu went to Uttar Pradesh and Orissa and purchased three firearms.
On the night of February 9, the duo entered the industrialist’s house in Banjara Hills carrying firearms and tried to attack his son, but beat a fast retreat as the latter screamed for help. While jumping out from the building Vijay Kiran suffered a fracture on his leg.
On a tip-off, the Commissioner’s Task Force (West) team led by Additional DCP P. Rameshaiah caught three members of the gang.