Kavakutla Rakesh Reddy, prime accused in the sensational murder of a Non-Resident Indian Chigurupati Jayaram reported more than five years ago, was found guilty by a local court here on Monday.
Eleven others, including three police officers, against whom charge sheet was filed in the case, were acquitted of the charges against them. First Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge K. Kusha, pronouncing the verdict in the homicide case that was widely discussed in the two Telugu States, said that the quantum of punishment would be announced on Thursday.
Names of three police officers, Surakanti Malla Reddy, Mailaraset Rambabu and S. Srinivasulu, who were working as Assistant Commissioner of Police of Ibrahimpatnam of Rachakonda Commissionerate and Inspectors of Nallakunta in Hyderabad Commissionarate and Raidurg of Cyberabad Commissionerate respectively then, figured in the cases. However, the police officers along with eight other accused in the case were acquitted of the charges.
Chigurupati Jayaram, a pharma scientist and NRI businessman from the U.S., was found dead on the back seat of his car off the national highway near Nandigama of Krishna district in Andhra Pradesh on January 31 of 2018. Initially, it appeared to be a road accident death. Investigators suspected that some persons murdered the NRI and attempted to make it look like a road crash.
Eventually, they found that killers honey-trapped the NRI by sending text messages to his mobile phone making him believe that a woman was sending them. When the NRI reached a house in Banjara Hills of Hyderabad to meet the woman, he was confined there. Police records say Rakesh Reddy, who had given loans to the NRI, trapped him.
The accused allegedly tortured the businessman having confined him in that house for nearly 24 hours demanding that the latter return the money. Jayaram managed to pay him only ₹6 lakh rupees while being confined by the accused who made him sign blank papers, K. Srinivasa Rao, the then Banjara Hills Assistant Commissioner of Police who investigated the case, said.
Later, the accused attacked the NRI by showering blows on him and eventually smothered him to death, according to Mr. Rao. The Nandigama police of Krishna district initially arrested Rakesh Reddy and third accused Nenvath Rajesh in the case, which was later transferred to Hyderabad police on point of jurisdiction. Mr. K.S. Rao, who investigated the case, arrested Vislawath Vishal, Nenavath Nagesh and Lakshmireddy Subhash Chandra Reddy, Chikatla Surya Prasad, Modugula Kishore and Kura Anji Reddy later.
Notices were issued to the three police officers under Section 41A of Criminal Procedure Code as the sections invoked against them had punishment of less than seven years. They were accused of not revealing information about the crime despite knowing about it and screening the evidence. The prime accused Rakesh Reddy had been in prison since his arrest in 2019.
He had moved the trial court, High Court and even the Supreme Court for bail but could not secure it. Three prosecutors, Joint Director of Prosecutions Sambashiva Reddy, Grade-I Public Prosecutor K. Durgaji and Special Public Prosecutor Rajeev Reddy conducted the prosecution.