Hyderabad police on Wednesday detained former Andhra Pradesh minister Bhooma Akhila Priya and her husband Bhargava Ram for questioning in connection with the kidnapping of former badminton player Praveen Rao and his two brothers.
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader and her husband were picked up from their residence in Kukatpally hours after the trio were rescued by the police on the city outskirts. The couple was being questioned at an undisclosed location.
Praveen Rao, Sunil Rao and Naveen Rao, who are relatives of of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s personal assistant, were kidnapped on Tuesday night from their residence in Bowenpally here by a group of people posing as income tax officers.
The victims were reportedly traced in Moinabad near the city. Police have taken at least eight accused into the custody and were looking for others.
Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar said the police cracked the kidnapping case. He said details will be announced later in the day.
The incident is related to a land dispute and the kidnappers forced Praveen Rao and his brothers to sign a few documents.
The three brothers were kidnapped in a filmy style from their residence in Bowenpally in Secunderabad on Tuesday night. A group of 15-20 people came to their house and introduced themselves as income tax officials. They even produced fake search warrants and two of them were in police uniform.
Praveen contacted his another brother Pratap Rao, a lawyer living in Mahabubnagar. Pratap Rao was monitoring CCTV footage from his mobile phone and since the ‘IT sleuths’ had produced the search warrants, he asked his brothers to cooperate in the search.
They took mobile phones, laptops and other gadgets of all the family members saying this was part of the procedure followed during searches.
Pratap Rao said after 15-20 minutes the CCTV cameras were switched off and when he tried to contact his brothers they were not reachable. He grew suspicious and contacted income tax authorities, who clarified that the department was not conducting any search. He informed family friends MP Maloth Kavitha and state minister Sriniva Goud, who alerted the top police officials.
An alert was sounded in Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda police commissionerates. Police in all districts of Telangana and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh were also alerted.
The accused whisked away Praveen Rao, Naveen Rao and Sunil Rao with them after locking other family members in a room.
According to Pratap Rao, his brothers were blindfolded by kidnappers. They were taken to a farm house on Chilkur road.
It was immediately not clear if the police rescued the victims or the kidnappers set them free. The details are likely to be announced by the police later in the day.
Praveen Rao and his brothers returned home early morning. Pratap Rao said they provided information to police about those whom they suspected to be involved in kidnapping.
The lawyer said their brother had nothing to do with the land dealing and the accused resorted to kidnapping due to some misunderstanding.
He did not reveal the identity of those involved, saying it was for police to announce the details.