ANDHRA PRADESH

Coal contractor killed, 26 lakhs taken away

CRIME MOST FOUL: Forensic experts looking for finger prints on the body of Raja Rao, coal contractor at the scene of offence. - Photo: Mohammed_Yousuf

CRIME MOST FOUL: Forensic experts looking for finger prints on the body of Raja Rao, coal contractor at the scene of offence. - Photo: Mohammed_Yousuf  

Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD: Robbers struck terror yet again in daylight in the State capital on Monday. While a coal contractor was hacked to death in Secunderabad and Rs. 26 lakhs taken away from him, two youngsters tried in vain to rob a housewife at gunpoint in Mirchowk.

By a quirk of fate, one of the two robbers in the Secunderabad incident sustained serious wounds when his accomplice tried to thrust the knife into the victim, Raja Rao, 45. The brutal murder for gain unfolded at around 4 p.m. when Rao and his employee Narayanamurthy went to a private financier's house on Ministers' Road a few yards away from Saibaba temple.

They collected Rs. 35 lakh, got down the three-storied building's staircase and were walking through a narrow passage leading to the gate when two robbers wielding knives attacked them.

Chilli powder sprinkled

"The intruders sprinkled chilli powder on Rao and his employee and started attacking indiscriminately," Additional Commissioner of Police Tejdeep Kaur Menon told reporters.

A well-built Rao tried to resist the attack and pulled one of the attackers by his legs. Even as one fell on him, the other continued to attack and accidentally plunged the knife into the chest of his accomplice. Confused and panicked, the robber grabbed whatever currency bundles he could lay his hands on and fled leaving Rs. 9 lakhs soaked in blood at the spot.

The profusely bleeding injured robber, later identified as Prasad Rao, too tried to run away but his luck ran short again. Alerted by the cries of Narayanamurthy, a constable Padmanabham of the nearby Ramgopalpet police station, who was passing by, caught Prasad after a chase with the help of a bystander Vasu.

Injured rushed to KIMS

Both the injured - Narayanamurthy and Prasad - were rushed to the nearby Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), while Rao died on the spot. The condition of Prasad was stated to be critical. Ms. Menon said the robbers were apparently aware that Rao was carrying cash. "This suggests possible connivance of persons familiar with the contractor or the financiers," she said.

The financiers Govind and Jaspal were not in the house when the contractor came to their house. Their relative Amit handed over the cash. However, he locked the house and fled soon after the attack. Police are questioning one person Shiva who was present with Amit and who claimed that he came there to take a loan. In the Mirchowk incident, a youngster barged into a house at Purani Haveli around 3 p.m. and threatened the inmate Afzal Begum to part with cash while his associate waited outside. According to Ms. Begum, he wielded a pistol and wore a mask. However, the duo took to their heels when she raised an alarm.

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