What started out as a treasure hunt deep in the jungles of Nallamala forest in the Andhra region turned tragic for a trio. 45-year-old Hyderabad-based banker Katta Sivakumar died due to dehydration while one of his other two associates is still missing.
The trio had gone three days ago into the forest in search of a hidden treasure that once belonged to Katama Raju, a former king of Nellore region sometime in the 13th century.
The two others who joined Sivakumar in the doomed expedition were Dalavath Krishna Naik (45) and Bodu Hanumantha Rao (64), both from Munnangi Village in Kolipara mandal of Guntur district.
They entered the forest from Markapuram mandal of Prakasam district on May 12. They had carried water bottles, buttermilk and eatables with them, but ran out of water and food on May 14.
The trio went their separate ways in search of water and lost track of each other, and this was when Naik decided to return home, reports Deccan Chronicle.
On Wednesday, Naik managed to reach a road on the Markapuram side of the forest and fell unconscious on the roadside. He was helped by a sadhu who gave him some water and food, reported The New Indian Express (TNIE).
It was night time when he managed to contact the Markapuram police station to report about their failed hunt. The police directed him to approach the Tativaripalli police who launched an investigation. A special team was formed, which found Sivakumar's body the following day. The body was taken to a general hospital for autopsy. Police are yet to trace Hanumantha, the third member of the team.
The trio had covered three hills spanning over 10 kilometres in a dense forest that falls under different police jurisdictions. “As the area beyond the fourth hill falls under HM Padu Police, they will also make searches from Friday,” SK Meera Sahib, police inspector, Markapuram police station, told TNIE.