Special Correspondent

ONGOLE: In a sensational case, the Chirala police on Sunday arrested 12 persons for allegedly making a human sacrifice in their bid to find a treasure and buried a man in a 12-foot deep pit in the house of a weaver at Amodagiripatnam in Vetapalem mandal of Prakasam district.

Police exhumed the body of the victim, 32-year-old A Srinivasa Rao, a weaver from the same village, from the pit and sent it for post-mortem. The accused persons admitted that they dug the pit in their bid to find a treasure in their house but maintained that Srinivasa Rao, who was digging the pit, fell into it accidentally and died.

Case registered

Police registered a case against the accused under Section 302 (murder) and 201 (screening of evidence) and said that they would be produced in a court on Monday. It is stated that Srinivasa Rao had been missing since December 10 last year and his wife lodged a complaint with the police 10 days later.

It all happened in the house of one Dogiparthi Subramanyam (50), a weaver, in Amodagiripatnam village. When his eldest son died two years ago, the superstitious Subramanyam contacted some soothsayers who told him that there was a hidden treasure in his house and he would come to greater grief if he failed to remove it.

He contacted the in-laws of his daughter at Kovvur in Nellore district who arranged the services of one Santamma to help him in the endeavour. Santamma began conducting poojas in his house from December 9. The victim, Srinivasa Rao, who was a family friend and evinced interest in supernatural powers lent his hand in the effort. The police during their investigation called Subramanyam, his wife and son for interrogation to Vetapalem four or five times on suspicion of their involvement in the missing case. The family members felt threatened and consumed pesticide near Chirala Engineering College on January 31. This only strengthened the suspicion of the police. Even as the police were waiting for an opportunity, Subramanyam’s daughter and son-in-law came from Nellore. When the police took them into custody and interrogated them they spilled the beans.

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