Vijayawada

After 8 years, Vaishnavi’s killers awarded life imprisonment

Convicts in Naga Vaishnavi’s murder case at the Mahila Sessions Court in Vijayawada on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: V. Raju

Eight years after the sensational case of murders of city girl Palagani Naga Vaishnavi (9) and her car driver Y. Lakshmana Rao, the V Additional District cum Mahila Sessions Court sentenced the accused Morla Srinivasa Rao, Yamparla Jagadish and Pandi Venkatarao to undergo imprisonment for life on Thursday.

Found guilty

The Sessions Court pronounced the accused including Venkatarao alias Krishna, uncle of Naga Vaishnavi, guilty of six charges, including conspiracy, murder, kidnap, screening evidence and robbery and punishments for all the convictions would run concurrently. Vaishnavi was daugther of Palagani Prabhakar Rao and P. Narmada Devi.

The incident shook the State in early 2010 and the trial began on June 28, 2010, though the accused were arrested a couple of weeks after the incident. The verdict came out on Thursday after the case passed through more than 491 sessions. Vaishnavi, a student of the NSM Public School, was kidnapped while she was being taken to school on January 30, 2010, in a car by Lakshmana Rao. Venkatarao of the city is a brother of Prabhakar Rao’s first wife and has disputes with the latter who is a businessman and BC leader.

Hired by Venkatarao in a deal worth tens of lakhs Srinivasa Rao, 42 and his aide Jagadish, 29 of Guntur attacked the victims and stabbed the driver to death on the spot near the Madhura Nagar junction on the BRTS Road as per the plan the trio hatched. The girl was kidnapped in the car while her elder brother managed to escape.

Three-days later the charred remains of the girl were found in an electrical furnace in a foundry owned by Srinivasa Rao in Autonagar in Guntur. The victim was murdered and burnt in the furnace by the convicts to screen evidence.

After learning the gruesome way his daughter was killed, Prabhakar Rao died of cardiac arrest.

Close to 100 witnesses were examined and the court found the accused guilty considering the eyewitness accounts and the circumstantial evidence. A gold pearl chain and gold ear studs of Vaishnavi found at the foundry were considered as evidence. The remand period of the accused had been set off by the court. All the accused were in judicial remand since 2010 and were never granted a bail.


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Printable version | Oct 8, 2021 5:18:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/after-8-years-vaishnavis-killers-awarded-life-imprisonment/article24170344.ece

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