VSP executive murder: Odisha court allows police to take two prime accused on five-day remand

Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Jan 12:

The sub divisional judicial magistrate (SDJM) court here today allowed commissionerate police to take the two prime accused – Piddina Laxman Rao alias Vadi Ramanna alias ‘Guruji’ (50) and Srinibas Panda alais Nibas – on a five-day remand for interrogation in connection with the murder of I Surya Prasad Rao, assistant general manager (AGM) of Vizag Steel Plant (VSP) in the Odisha capital on the night of January 4.

Pic: Biswaranjan Mishra
Pic: Biswaranjan Mishra

The two will be asked to recreate the entire sequence of events from the moment Rao landed in the Bhubaneswar airport to the time when they dumped his body behind the Hanuman Mandir near Sainik School here, besides the Rs 1.27 lakh they looted from the deceased, sources in the commisionerate police said.

Briefing media persons after the arrest of Guruji and Panda, along with three of their accomplices on Saturday, commissioner of police (CP) Dr RP Sharma had said the inter state gang put together by mastermind Guruji of Srikakulum in Andhra Pradesh had mercilessly beaten up Rao leading to his death after he refused to pay a ransom of Rs 5 crores.

They had trapped Rao after promising to find a suitable match for his younger son I Balagangadhar for which he had placed an advertisement on a matrimonial site. They even made him to talk to a prospective bride over phone to convince him about their bonafides, Sharma had said.

Before killing him, however, the gang had forced Rao to withdraw Rs 1.27 lakh from two ATMs in the city and hand the cash over to them, the CP had said.

Panda had received Rao from the aiport on January 4 afternoon and accompanied him to Namah Sai guest house in Kanan Vihar, where another accomplice Kulamani Rout had already booked two rooms.

The other two accused arrested by the police are Abid Khan (30) of Rayagada and Manoj Kumar Rout (31), the owner of Namah Sai guest house, who was promised Rs 2 lakh for his ‘services’ by the gang leader.

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