Five members of an inter-state kidnapping gang were arrested on Saturday for luring an officer from a top steel plant in Andhra Pradesh to Bhubaneswar and murdering him when he refused to pay the Rs 5 crore ransom demanded by them.
According to the police, the victim Surya Prasad Rao was the assistant general manager of Vizag steel in Vishakhapatnam. He had placed an advertisement seeking a bride for his son at a matrimonial website. The mastermind of the crime — Piddina Laxman Rao alias Guruji from Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh — chanced on the advertisement and called him up. He convinced Rao to come to Bhubaneswar to meet a prospective bride for his son.
Rao landed in Bhaubaneswar on December 4. Guruji’s accomplice in Bhubaneswar, Srinibas Panda, hired a car and drove him to a guest house where the other members of the gang were waiting for him.
Guruji and Panda demanded a ransom of Rs 5 crore from him, and then scaled it down to Rs 50 lakh. When Rao told them he couldn’t pay them that much money, they forced him to withdraw Rs 1.27 lakh from his account through an ATM, and stole his chain and gold rings. They then beat him to death and dumped his body along a deserted stretch.
The police added that five other members of the gang are still at large.
“Surya Prasad Rao, assistant general manager of Vizag Steel in Vishakhapatnam, was abducted by the gang the moment he landed in Bhubaneswar on December 4 and was murdered the same night,” Bhubaneswar police commissioner RP Sharma said.