Bhubaneswar: In a major breakthrough, the Odisha police on Saturday arrested five persons allegedly involved in the brutal murder of Vizag Steel Plant assistant general manager (AGM) I. Surya Prasad Rao on January 4.
One of the arrested persons was identified as S. Rao alias Guruji, a colleague of the victim. The other persons include Srinibas Panda, Abid Khan, Kulamani Rout and Manoj Kumar Rout. Manoj Rout is the owner of Namah Sai Guest House located under Infocity police station.
S. Rao, according to police commissioner R.P. Sharma, is the key conspirator who planned the whole plot. He lured Surya Prasad to find a match for his younger son in Bhubaneswar. He told victim that one Koteswar Rao, a rich man in the city, had a beautiful daughter. Soon after he arrived in Bhubaneswar, the accused took him in a Maruti Swift car to the guest house instead of the house Koteswar Rao.
“Once they reached the guest house, the accused told him that he was kidnapped and demanded Rs 5 crore from him for his release. When Surya Prasad Rao expressed his inability, they revised the ransom money to Rs 50 lakh which again the victim said it was not possible on his part to meet.
The accused then beat AGM severely and snatched away two ATM cards, one ICICI and the other SBI from him and withdrew Rs 1.27 lakh. After Surya Prasad died of the severe of injuries, the accused took him to VSS Nagar area and dumped the body near the Hanuman temple.
The police commissioner said the key accused S. Rao, a resident of Sikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh, is an interstate hardcore docoit who operates though his local contacts in various states. Stating that more accused were involved in the crime, the commissioner said efforts were on to arrest them.