Vanama Raghavendra Rao is accused of abetting the suicide of a family of four in Telangana’s Bhadadri Kothagudem district.

Vanama Raghavendra Rao being accompanied by the policeScreenshot from video
news Crime Saturday, January 08, 2022 - 17:10

After four days of frantic searching, on Friday, January 7, the Telangana police apprehended Vanama Raghavendra Rao, who is accused of abetting the suicide of a businessman and three of his family members in Telangana’ Bhadradri Kothagudem district. The accused is the son of TRS MLA Vanama Venkateshwara Rao.

Confirming the arrest to TNM, Sunil Dutt, Bhadradri Kothagudem SP said, “The accused was apprehended around 10.30 pm on January 7 at Mandapally Cross road. He was apprehended and then taken into custody following which he was questioned until 7 in the morning. The medical test was completed in the morning and then he was presented to the court.”

The manhunt

For four days prior to Vanama Raghavendra Rao’s arrest, 25 officials from the Bhadradri Kothagudem police had been on their toes trying to trace his movements. Initially, five teams were formed to trace him, and later, the number of teams was increased. District SP Sunil Dutt was closely monitoring the operation. “The accused was continuously on the move. Initially, we had information that he was briefly in Hyderabad and then in Suyapet. We then understood that he had moved into neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. We had a total of nine teams that were deployed to nab him. We moved most teams to Andhra Pradesh. We first shortlisted places he was likely to head to based on where he had relatives or close friends. Eluru, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, Rajahmundry were the probable locations,” Dutt told TNM.

“The accused had good connections locally. By the time we were informed about the accused's presence in one location, he had already fled to another,” said Dutt. This posed the biggest challenge the police faced in apprehending him. “The accused was continuously on the move and he had many people who he knew. They were not sharing information with the police. Once he moved towards Suryapet we understood his movement was towards Andhra Pradesh. Locally, it is known to people which are the places the accused was likely to move to,” Dutt said.

Nabbing the accused

Raghavendra Rao was heading towards Hyderabad in a car along with his associate and his driver while he was apprehended by the police. As arrest was imminent, the accused was on his way to get anticipatory bail. He had been absconding after an FIR was lodged against him at Paloncha town on January 3. Further, Raghavendra Rao’s phone was also not working, which made tracing the trio’s movement difficult. “While people are on the run, they don’t carry their cell phones. Raghavendra’s phone was not working. We did intercept one phone from the car when they were apprehended,” shared SP Dutt.

The accused’s role came to light after a purported selfie video of the man who died by suicide went viral on social media. It came to light three days after the family’s deaths. In the video, the man spoke alleged that the MLA's son demanded sexual favours from his wife in exchange for help in resolving a property dispute within his family. He also blamed his mother and sister for not giving him his share of the family inheritance. Based on this allegation, his mother and sister were also booked in the case. The victim also said that Raghavendra Rao should be held responsible for him taking the extreme step. However, Ragahvendra Rao had denied the charges levelled against him.  

The video has now been submitted as evidence in a local court.

Raghavendra Rao accused in several other cases

Besides this case, police revealed, Raghavendra Rao has several others against him which are under investigation. “Including this case, there are 12 cases in total against Raghavendra Rao. Among these, there are cases booked under sections 307 (attempt to murder), 306 (abetment of suicide) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharging duty) of the Indian Penal Code. We have collected crucial information during the interrogation about his role in various other cases. All allegations and cases are being looked into and are under investigation,” revealed Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Rohit Raju.

The complaint was filed by Janardhan Rao, the brother-in-law of the man who died by suicide. Following the complaint, a case was registered under sections 302, 307, 306 of the IPC. “As soon as we received the complaint, a team visited the scene of crime, seized evidence, and then submitted the same to court,” said ASP Rohit Raju.     

READ: Kin of Telangana family who died by suicide alleges threats from TRS MLA’s son

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