PEDDAPALLI: The three main accused Kunta Srinivas, Chiranjeevi and Akkapaka Kumar, were arrested in connection with the gruesome daylight killing of the advocate couple Gattu Vama Rao and his wife PV Nagamani on Thursday.
Srinivas and another accused were arrested from Maharashtra border, Inspector General of Police (North Zone) Y Nagi Reddy told reporters in a press meet. Even as the ruling party suspended him several advocates continued to stage protests against the fatal attack.
Kunta Srinivas who is also the TRS Manthani mandal unit president along with two others allegedly attacked lawyer Gattu Vaman Rao and his wife P V Nagamani on Wednesday. It was revealed by the IGP that he bore a grudge against the lawyer over his involvement in certain illegal construction activities in the Gunjapadugu area and the local temple committee matters.
According to police, hours before the crime, Srinivas had attended a programme in Manthani in Peddapalli district as part of the birthday celebrations of Chief Minister K Chandrasekar Rao.
He is said to have gone straight from the programme along with the other accused A Kumar.
Locals allege that the TRS leader Putta Madhu was encouraging Srinivas who was an upcoming leader to confront the advocate.The accused was already facing several criminal charges against him including dowry harassment, illegal constructions, threatening people.
Several Photographs of the two of them on the day of the murder have surfaced on social media pinpointing his role in the murder.
Putta Madhu and Kunta Srinivas, were seen together in an event where Putta Madhu cut a cake at the Manthani Ambedkar statue at 10 a.m. just hours before the murder.
The two then participated in a pooja at Dubbu Palli from 11 a.m. to 11.30 p.m.
It is believed that a recce was conducted to check on Vaman Rao from Godavarikhani at 12 noon.
Putta Madhu is said to have stopped the convoy between 12:30 and 12:40, where they both had a private discussion on the other side of the road while TRS activists were watching.
After that Kunta Srinivas and the other accused Kumar went straight to the court.Vaman Rao and his wife after finishing court work at Manthani left for Hyderabad. They then followed the car and waited for the opportune moment to overtake and intercept Vaman Rao's car near Ravicherla in Ramagiri mandal at 2:30 PM ,on the way to Hyderabad.
Srinivas was among the two who carried out the attack and both escaped and later dumped sharp weapons and their blood stained clothes in a barrage, police said.
During his last moments, Vaman Rao had named the TRS leader as being responsible for the attack in a video taken by an onlooker who asked him as to who he was and why he was attacked. The statement given by the dying advocate became a testimony and the police were able to easily catch the accused. Call data of the accused also helped in locating his whereabouts and the police were able to catch him within a day of the murder.
The evidence such as videos (that were circulated on social media) which were recorded by passers-by, and statements of those people who may have witnessed the incident while travelling in vehicles was also verified by the police.
This apart Vaman Rao's family members have also alleged that local TRS leader and former MLA Putta Madhu was behind the gruesome act.
The Telangana High Court on Thursday on its own took cognisance of the killing of a lawyer couple and directed the government to properly and expeditiously conduct investigation into the matter. The Court, while posting the matter to March 1, issued notices to the state government asking it to file a status report on the investigation. Describing the killings as "unfortunate", Chief Justice Hima Kohli directed that the investigation be done properly by collecting the evidence without any delay.
Just hours after Ramagundam police arrested three accused- Kunta Srinivas, Chiranjeevi and Kumar, police on Friday has arrested Bittu Srinivas, the nephew of Peddapalli ZP chairman and former MLA Putta Madhu.