Staff Reporter

Gang members admit to murdering an

astrologer and his wife

Prime accused tells police that he had strangled old couple to death in a vehicle

RABAD: The arrest of a gang of six persons when they were allegedly proceeding to rob an elderly couple helped the Cyberabad police on Friday to unravel the mystery behind a double murder and a murder for gain committed nearly three years ago.

The gang members were going to the house of an old couple in Prashanthinagar carrying knives on two motorcycles when the Special Operations Team caught them on a tip-off.

When they were grilled, the arrested persons spilled the beans about their plot and admitted to the double murder of an astrologer, S.P. Kanaka Lingaiah, 96, and his wife, Ramanamma, 86, residents of Vanasthalipuram.

The prime accused, Manik Rao, told the police that he and his associates, M. Ravinder and S. Narsimha, befriended the old couple and lured them to a secluded place at Ibrahimpatnam on the pretext of seeking their advice about a new real estate business venture.

The trio hired a Tata Sumo, picked up the couple from their house on June 25, 2007, and strangled them to death in the vehicle on reaching Ibrahimpatnam, collected their jewellery and dumped the bodies at Gurrampadu village in Nalgonda after torching them.

Flees to Mumbai

On learning that the police were pursuing the leads, Rao fled to Mumbai then and returned to the city a month ago. He again hatched a plot to rob another old couple at Kukatpally and was caught along with his accomplices. Rao was originally a member of a gang led by one S. Indra Reddy who died in a road accident.

The gang committed its first offence when it hired a taxi at L.B. Nagar in December 2006, killed the driver at Kusumanchi in Khammam district and took away the car after dumping and setting ablaze the body on the roadside.

Subsequently, Rao developed differences with Indra Reddy and formed a separate gang with his associates with whose help he committed the double murder, the SOT Inspector, P. Radhakishan Rao, said.