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Monday, Aug 19, 2019

Telangana Dalit Christian killing: How man with ISI links , politician planned the murder

A 24-year-old Dalit Christian was hacked to death in Telangana’s Miryalguda on September 14 allegedly at the behest of his wife’s upper caste realtor father .

india Updated: Sep 19, 2018 10:55 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Perumalla Pranay Kumar (left) was hacked in front of his pregnant wife Amrutha Varshini (right) in Telangana.
Perumalla Pranay Kumar (left) was hacked in front of his pregnant wife Amrutha Varshini (right) in Telangana. (HT photo)

A suspected Islamist terrorist, his close aide, and a local Congress leader helped prominent realtor-turned-politician Tirunagari Maruthi Rao kill his son-in-law Perumalla Pranay, a Dalit Christian at Miryalguda town in Telangana’s Nalgonda district, with the actual killing being done by a contract killer from Bihar.

Four days after the murder that horrified the state, the Telangana police on Tuesday arrested seven persons. While contract killer Subhash Sharma was arrested from Samastipur in Bihar and is being brought to Nalgonda after securing a transit warrant from the local court, the police produced the remaining six accused before the media at Nalgonda.

Nalgonda superintendent of police AV Ranganath told media that Maruthi Rao, who could not digest the fact that his daughter Amrutha Varshini (20) married a Dalit Christian, was the prime accused in the case and was the mastermind behind the killing of Pranay. The other accused are Congress leader Abdul Karim, Asghar Ali, Mohammad Bari, Rao’s brother Sravan and driver Shiva.

The SP said Asghar Ali, a suspected terrorist having links with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), was an accused in the murder of former Gujarat home minister Haren Pandya. His close aide Mohammad Bari was also an accused in the same case. Both were arrested in April, 2003, but acquitted first by sessions court in Ahmedabad and later by the high court.

“While Asghar Ali lives in Nalgonda, Bari has been staying at Malakpet in Hyderabad after their acquittal in 2013,” he said.

Ranganath said Maruthi Rao had been hatching the plan to eliminate Pranay since June. “He first discussed his plan with his friend Abdul Karim and they got in touch with Bari, whom they have known since 2011. In the first week of July, Rao and Karim met Asghar Ali and Bari to work out a plan while sitting in a car at Miryalguda. Rao also showed them the residence of Pranay.”

The Ali-Bari duo first demanded Rs 2.5 crore, but finally struck the deal for Rs 1 crore. “They demanded an advance of Rs 50 lakh, but Rao agreed to give them Rs 15 lakh and the remaining after the killing. On July 9, Karim took Rs 15 lakh from Rao and distributed Rs 14 lakh to Ali and Bari at an isolated place near Ramoji Film city on the outskirts of Hyderabad, while keeping the remaining Rs 1 lakh with him,” the SP said.

The accused spent part of the money on buying a two-wheeler, duplicate mobile SIM cards and other equipment, besides engaging the services of Subhash Sharma from Bihar. “On August 9, they conducted a recce on the movements of Pranay and they made a first attempt to kill him on August 14, but they could not execute it as his brother Ajay was also there along with him,” the SP said.

On August 17, Pranay and Amrutha threw a party for friends and relatives and that angered Rao further. “In the meantime, Rao came to know that Amrutha was pregnant and Rao thought if she delivered the baby, it would be all the more humiliating for him. So, he started bringing pressure on her to abort the foetus,” Ranganath said.

The accused made another attempt on the life of Pranay on September 1 as well, but it also did not succeed. “Finally, they committed the murder on September 14, when the couple was coming out of the hospital after Amrutha underwent medical check-up,” the SP said.

He said the police had warned the young couple to be careful ever since they got the complaint from Pranay’s family about threats from Rao. “We even arranged CC cameras at their house and asked them to inform the police if they encountered anything suspicious.”

First Published: Sep 18, 2018 13:40 IST

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