The Hyderabad Police on Wednesday detained former Andhra Pradesh minister Bhuma Akhila Reddy for allegedly kidnapping ex-hockey player Praveen Rao and his two brothers, reported The News Minute. Praveen Rao and his brothers Sunil Rao and Naveen Rao are said to be close relatives of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.
Reddy, a Telugu Desam Party leader, was reportedly taken into custody from her Kukatpally residence and is being questioned by the police. Other accused in the case are Reddy’s husband Bhargav Ram and AV Subba Reddy, a close associate of the TDP leader’s father, and senior party leader Bhuma Nagi Reddy, reported NDTV.
“Other suspects including Bhagava Ram and AV Subba Reddy are absconding and a search is underway,” Hyderabad City Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar said, according to News 18. “We are taking help from [the] Andhra Pradesh Police.” The involvement of Bhuma Akhila Reddy’s brother and former MLA Jagadwikhyath Reddy and her brother-in-law Chandrahas is also suspected, the police said, adding that the alleged kidnapping could be over a land dispute.
A statement by the police said that about 10 to 15 people entered the premises of the former hockey player at around 7 pm on Tuesday and introduced themselves as officials of the Income Tax department. The impostors showed fake identity cards as well as produced a search warrant and said they were going to conduct a raid, instructing the family members to sit in the hall, the statement added.
The police said that the kidnappers took three people in the bedroom. Telangana Excise Minister Srinivas Goud, who arrived at the house of the victims with senior police officers, said the kidnappers, came in three vehicles and took the brothers away.
Advocate Pratap Kumar and Rao’s elder brother, who lodged the complaint, told The News Minute that the kidnappers were known to the former TDP minister. They said that Rao and his brothers were dropped off at 3 am at Kokapet in Hyderabad’s Outer Ring Road.
The police, who were checking on all roads leading to inter-state borders, said the kidnappers realised that they could not escape and released the brothers, PTI reported. The police added that they located the brothers through tower location after they switched on their phones and brought them back to their house.
The brothers reportedly said that they were made to sign on some blank sheets. The police, citing the family of the hockey player, said there was a dispute between the brothers and Reddy over 50 acres of land worth Rs 200 crore.
“Incidentally, six months ago, Subba Reddy had accused Reddy and her husband, who is missing, of conspiring to kill him,” the Hyderabad city police commissioner said. The police are also looking for more people named in the case.
The police have registered a case under Sections 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 448 (punishment for house-trespass), 419 (punishment for cheating by personation), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 366 (kidnapping, abducting) read with Section 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) of the Indian Penal Code.