Sunday, Jul 14, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
Sreenivas alias Budda Santhan informed the police that Satyanarayana had asked him to kill Santhana Kumar, son of the former Congress MLA, Vangaveeti Sobhana Chalapathi Rao, seven months ago and enquired about the job one-and-a-half months back. When he refused to do his bidding, Satyanarayana allegedly threatened him with dire consequences if he revealed his plans to anybody. "I will see that your picture appears in newspapers,'' he reportedly threatened him.
Sensing trouble, Sreenivas enlisted the help of his close friend, Rajanala Muralikrishna, to kill Satyanarayana. Muralikrishna, who bore grudge against Satyanarayana for a frivolous cause, readily agreed to join him. They purchased a sickle at Yenalakuduru 15 days ago and borrowed a motorcycle from a friend three days ago to commit the murder.
They kept a close watch on the movements of Satyanarayana and tried to kill him near his office before but in vain. Noticing that he was going to Ambedkar Park to play badminton daily in the morning, they lay in wait for him on the fateful day. As he was returning from the park to his office at 9 a.m., they followed him on their vehicle. They stopped him near Bandar locks.
While Sreenivas engaged him in conversation, Muralikrishna attacked him with the weapon. After ensuring that he was killed, Sreenivas fled the scene on his motorcycle. But people in the vicinity and a traffic cop on duty nearby tried to nab Muralikrishna, who ran through the bylanes and reached Sreenivas on Bandar road.
They went to the house of Charlie, a close friend of Sreenivas, living in Fezzonipet, had a wash, changed their clothes, kept the blood-stained clothes in a plastic bag and vanished. They burnt the blood-stained clothes near Edulagudem before reaching Tadepalligudem via Nuzvid. They borrowed some money from an acquaintance and reached Ravulapalem where they stayed until the police picked them up.
Answering questions at a press conference here today, Sreenivas said that he was nephew of Santhana Kumar and also his follower. He was given the nickname `Budda Santhan' because he bore resemblance with Santhana Kumar. To a question, Sreenivas said as he enjoyed the confidence of Santhana Kumar, Satyanarayana might have chosen him for the job of killing Santhana Kumar. He said he was not aware whether any rivalry existed between Satyanarayana and Santhana Kumar.
Muralikrishna said he bore grudge against Satyanarayana who, as a member of Kanakadurga Temple trust board, denied him to have `darshan' through special entrance. "He insulted me in the presence of my sister and a friend," Muralikrishna said, which made him join hands with Sreenivas to kill Satyanarayana.
The Police Commissioner, N.V. Surendra Babu, said: "We are filing a chargesheet on the basis of evidence available as of now. It can be changed whenever any other details and motive come to light," he added. Mr. Surendra Babu complimented the team of officers for making the breakthrough in the case.
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