NRI industrialist Jayaram Chigurupati found dead in car, cops suspect murder
A non-resident Indian (NRI) industrialist from Florida in US Jayaram Chigurupati was found dead in his car in suspicious circumstances off the highway near Ithavaram early Friday, police said. He was on his way to Vijayawada from Hyderabad.
The car of the 65-year old Jayaram who headed Coastal Bank, a pharmaceutical company and was a promoter of the now defunct Express TV, was spotted by a highway patrol team. “He was found in the back seat of the car with blood oozing from his nose,” said Subhash Chandra Bose, deputy superintendent of police of Nandigama.
Police suspect he was murdered.
“The assailants tried to fabricate an accident by leaving the car in a roadside pit with minor damages in the window panes. The driver was not seen at the accident site and the victim was found lying in back seats. All these give rise to the suspicion that it is a case of murder,” the DSP said.
“We have started an investigation from all angles,” Bose said.
CCTV footage at all the three toll plazas through which the NRI’s car passed from Hyderabad showed a person in a white shirt at the wheels paying the toll and the police have zeroed in on him as the main suspect, the DSP said.
Jayaram, a native of Vijayawada, left Hyderabad on January 30 noon without his personal car driver and his vehicle was first tracked at the first toll plaza at Panthangi at 8pm on January 31. He was expected to reach Vijayawada within five hours after his departure from Hyderabad. It is not known where he spent all this time and in whose company, the DSP said. The police are examining the call date from the victim’s mobile phone in pursuit of clues.
The victim’s wife and children are in Florida and he had come to Viajaywada on a vacation a month ago.
Jayaram was in the news when his Express TV staffers cooked outside his head office in Hyderabad in April, 2017 as a token of protest against non-payment of salaries.
The Cyberabad police had arrested Jayaram, who was Managing director of the media house, following a complaint by striking employees.