Hyderabad: The Telangana Police on Wednesday arrested Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader Bhumika Akhila Priya from Kurnool district in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh for her alleged involvement in the abduction of three brothers in connection with a land dispute, officials said.
“We have taken Akhila Priya (a former tourism minister of Andhra Pradesh between April 2017 and May 2019) into custody from her residence in the morning…after preliminary interrogation, she was arrested her formally in the afternoon,” Hyderabad police commissioner Anjani Kumar told reporters. She was sent to 14 days of judicial custody.
Another senior TDP leader from Kurnool, AV Subba Reddy, was arrested in connection with the case late Wednesday night.
Akhila Priya‘s husband, Bhargav Ram, among others, too was believed to be involved in planning and executing the abduction, Anjani Kumar said. “We have formed special teams of the police for tracking down the other accused.”
The three kidnapped – K Praveen Rao, K Sunil Rao and K Naveen Rao — are related to Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, according to police officials who did not want to be named. Praveen Rao is a former national-level badminton player.
“The brothers were said to be involved in a land dispute with the accused at Hafeezpet on the city’s (Hyderabad’s) outskirts. The details of the land issue are being probed into,” Anjani Kumar said.
According to the police commissioner, about 10 people barged into the residence of Praveen Rao, who stays with his brothers at Krishna Residency apartment complex in Bowenpally’s Manovikas Nagar, around 7.20pm on Tuesday. They introduced themselves as income tax officers.
“They separated the brothers from the rest of the family and asked them to sit in the hall. They forced others to go into the bedroom. Later, they whisked the three brothers away in a vehicle. They also took away laptops and mobile phones from them,” the police commissioner said.
Family members alerted the police and a first information report (FIR) was registered on the basis of their complaint.
Around 3.30am on Wednesday, the suspects released the three brothers at Kokapet-Narasingi area on Hyderabad’s outskirts.“Based on the complaint by the family members, we have arrested Akhila Priya. We are on the lookout for others,” the police commissioner said.
Praveen Rao’s another brother, Pratap Rao, told reporters earlier in the day that there was a dispute between the accused and his family over 50 acres of land at Hafeezpet.
TDP Kurnool president Somisetty Venkateshwarlu said it was Akhila Priya and her family’s “personal issue”, and that it had nothing to do with the party. “In any case, her arrest has not come up for discussion in the party yet,” he said.