Secunderabad violence mastermind booked for over two dozen charges 

 A group of the Railway Protection Special Force keeping vigil at violence-hit Secunderabad junction railway station on June 18, 2022.

A group of the Railway Protection Special Force keeping vigil at violence-hit Secunderabad junction railway station on June 18, 2022. | Photo Credit: NAGARA GOPAL

Avula Subba Rao, director of a clutch of centres of Sai Defence Academy in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and chief conspirator in the violence that rocked the Secunderabad railway station on June 17 has been arrested by police along with three others. His motive was to mount pressure on the government so that the Agnipath scheme would be suspended, the Government Railway Police which arrested him said on Saturday.

His coaching centres were making huge profits in the name of Common Entrance Examination (CEE), and with Agnipath scheme, Mr. Subba Rao felt that there was a risk of shutting down his centres, the police claimed.

For the large-scale violence and arson, that also resulted in the death of a young Army job aspirant from Warangal district, he was booked under 26 sections – under the IPC, the provisions under the Railway Act and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.

Informing of his Friday arrest, along with his three associates – Malla Reddy, Shiva Kumar and Beesi Reddy – the GRP released a statement on Saturday.

The police explained that Mr. Subba Rao, who worked as a nursing assistant in the Army till 2011, set up the Sai Defence Academy at his native village Narsaraopet, Guntur, in 2014. Familiar with the recruitment process, he along with his staff targetted aspirants at various physical fitness and selection centres and grabbed them early in the name of preparation for medical tests and guaranteed selection. The Academy over the years also grew in size with multiple centres set up in various parts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Original certificates taken, bonds executed

As a procedure, the Academy collected original certificates of the candidates at the time of admission and also executed a conditional bond worth ₹3 lakh, which was to be paid after securing the job to get the certificates released. The Academy got student aspirants from several southern States.

In 2019 too, the Academy trained several aspirants. But owing to COVID-19, the written exam was postponed several times, for which the prospective students had also approached the Army Recruiting Offices and submitted representations.

And all the while, updates on recruitment, announcements and latest developments regarding the exam were discussed on WhatsApp groups.

Agnipath scheme, conspiracy and WhatsApp groups

But it was the Centre’s announcement about ‘Agnipath scheme’ mode of recruitment on June 14, and subsequent related agitations in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, that encouraged Mr. Subba Rao for the conspiracy to attack Secunderabad railway station.

Police also found evidence that Mr. Subba Rao and others created specific WhatsApp groups such as – Railway Station Block, Indian Army Group, Hakimpet Army Soldiers Group, Chalo Secunderabad ARO, Group 5 Army GD 2021 March rally, CEE Soldiers' group and Soldiers to Die – “to come to Secunderabad railway station and resort to violence like in Bihar”.

It was found that Mr. Subba Rao distributed money and arranged logistics for the violence, and to extend support to the planned attack he had also arrived in Hyderabad the previous day. He stayed at a private lodge at Boduppal and constantly monitored and supervised the actions at the railway station.

And post the violence, Mr. Subba Rao made sure that his associates deleted all the WhatsApp groups from their phones, causing disappearance of evidence.

The GRP police said investigation is still in progress to identify other defence coaching centre owners who had supported the June 17 violence. As of Saturday, it has identified 64 accused persons in the case.

On Saturday, at around 1.30 p.m., Mr. Subba Rao and his three associates were remanded in judicial custody at Chanchalguda prison.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 8:50:58 pm |