Hyderabad: Love for a smartphone forced a street-play artist to kill an intermediate student to steal his mobile phone and sell it to pay off debts. The accused beat the student to death and then burnt his body using petrol on the outskirts of the city, said the Uppal police.
The police arrested the accused Gaddam Prem Sagar (19), a former Amazon delivery boy, in connection with the murder and recovered the stolen mobile phone, a bike, pieces of his burnt clothes and an empty bottle used to carry petrol to commit the offence.
Sagar was living in a community hall in Old Ramanthapur with his family for the past three months. He became friends with Dhage Prem (17), an intermediate student, who lives in the same locality. Prem’s father D. Suresh works as a tailor at Koti.
Prem was studying at Ship Junior College in Ramanthapur where a biometric attendance system, which enables parents to know about the time their ward enters and leaves the college through SMSes.
On July 13, Suresh dropped his son at the college at 8.30am. At 4.30pm, 15 minutes before the college gets over, Sagar reached the college and picked Prem and went to the latter’s home. Prem left the college bag at home and went out with Sagar.
“At 6.09 pm, my wife called Prem twice, but he did not answer. He called back after two minutes and informed that he would return in another 20 minutes, but did not reach even after 7 pm. My wife informed me and I rushed home from Koti and found that Sagar took my son out,” Prem’s father Suresh said.
He said that he did not receive the message from the college during the evening on the day of his son’s murder. “I receive messages of entry and exit of my son from the college. I grew suspicious and lodged a complaint with the police,” said Suresh.
Malkajgiri deputy commissioner of police Ch R. Umamaheswara Sarma said, “Sagar wanted the smartphone of Prem. He thought he can sell the phone and clear debts, though the mobile was not worth above Rs 15,000.”
Sagar took Prem to an isolated area in Adibatla on the pretext of meeting a friend, and picked a stick and battered Prem with it, which made him unconscious.
“Sagar poured petrol on Prem and set him ablaze. He also received burns to his right leg and his clothes caught fire. On Sunday, Sagar was taken into custody and during questioning, confessed to having killed Prem,” he said....