Former AP minister denied bail in high-profile kidnapping case

Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service
Hyderabad, January 11

A Secunderabad court rejected bail petition of a former Andhra Pradesh Tourism Minister who faces charges of having arrested for kidnapping a former hockey player and his two brothers on Monday.

Bhuma Akhila Priya and her husband were prime suspects in the high-profile abduction case that happened on January 5. She will remain in police custody until January 13. Eight other people have been arrested in the case.

The petitioner told the court through her lawyer that she was pregnant, and also that the arrest was politically motivated.

The state has argued that she could potentially influence witnesses and tamper with evidence if release on bail.

The court had previously turned down the politician’s request of being moved to a hospital.  

Praveen Rao, Sunil Rao and Naveen Rao, who are stated to be close to the Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR), were abducted on January 5 this year.

Their abductors are believed to have posed as Income Tax conducting raids to gain entry into their house.

The abductors let their hostages go within hours of the incident.

Investigators say the abduction was over a dispute involving a 25-acre land in Hafeezpet in Ranga Reddy district that is estimated to be valued at Rs 200 crore.

Praveen Rao is believed to have bought the land in 2016 from a suspect in the case, AV Subba Reddy, for an undisclosed sum.

When the land’s price shot up Reddy, along with Akhila Priya and her husband, allegedly claimed ownership over the land, police said.

Investigators claim that hostages were also made to sign some documents before being allowed to go.

Akhila Priya is a member of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), a party whose leader Chandrababu Naidu’s rivalry with TRS’s chief KCR dates back to the Telangana statehood movement. Police claim that they have not ruled political angles to the story.


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