Hyderabad/Nandigama: The media trial and investigation of the Jayaram Chigurupati Murder Case is finally coming to an end with Krishna District's Superintendent of Police Sarvashresht Tripathi conducting a press meet on Tuesday, revealing the sordid details as to how Florida- based entrepreneur, Coastal bank MD and Express TV owner, was murdered.
The Andhra Pradesh police claimed to have cracked the murder case with the arrest of a realtor Rakesh Reddy and his driver Srinivas. It is said that two more people have also been arrested, one man named Swamy and another lady who had helped Rakesh Reddy while disposing the body of the businessman.
Money dispute, the main reason
After grilling many people including his niece Shikha Choudary and his relatives, Krishna District's Superintendent of Police Sarvashresht Tripathi told reporters that Rakesh Reddy murdered Jayaram as the latter had failed to repay a total of Rs 6 Crore (Rs 4 crore loan plus interest). Jayaram, also a Managing Director of Express TV, a now-defunct Telugu channel, had come to Hyderabad from the US a few days ago. Apparently, Jayaram had borrowed this money as he had to pay compensation to employees after his pharma factory Techtron which had shut down in Hyderabad. It is believed that Rakesh Reddy was introduced to Jayaram in 2017, through his niece P Madhuri alias Shikha Choudary, who happens to be his sister's daughter.
He had taken the money in two installments with an agreement that if he failed to repay, he would give him a house in lieu of the payment. But Rakesh got to know that that house was already mortgaged to a bank. It is alleged that he was also in a brief relationship with Shikha and that also had come to an end.
Rakesh Reddy started demanding for the money to be returned but Jayaram apparently had stopped taking his calls and had also blocked his mobile number.
Honey-trapped on WhatsApp
When Rakesh Reddy got to know of Jayaram's arrival in Hyderabad a few days ago, he laid a honey trap and contacted Jayaram on WhatsApp using the display picture of a woman from another number, and started chatting with him. 'S/he' asked Jayaram to come alone to a house in Jubilee Hills.
When the businessman reached there, Reddy and his driver overpowered him and assaulted him. The realtor demanded for the amount and slapped him. He kept him hostage in his house and made Jayaram call people to make arrangements for the money. Jayaram had managed to cough up only Rs 6 lakh which was picked up by another person (unknown) at Daspalla Hotel.
Murder in a a fit of rage
Enraged that he could not get his money back Rakesh hit him and slammed his head against the sofa. Jayaram sustained a head injury and died on the spot. It was also told that Jayaram had asked Rakesh for medicines since he was a heart patient. On January 31 the accused then shifted the body to Jayaram's car with the help of his driver and took it near Nandiagama, close to Vijayawada, and left it in a field adjoining the Highway to make it look like an accident.He apparently left the car and took the bus back to Hyderabad.
Now if they were to make it look like an accident why would they put the body in the back seat and abandon the car? If he was told to make it look an accident the body should have been in the front seat and not the back seat. There were no traces of alcohol in his blood and there many details pending about the time of death and how it happened. The post mortem details have not been shared by the police either.
Spoke to two T Cops after the murder
Before shifting the body, Rakesh spoke to two police officials of Hyderabad over phone. One was Nallakunta SI Srinivasulu and the other Ibrahimpatnam ACP S Malla Reddy. Verification of their call data is still pending, meanwhile both the police officers have been transferred.
Meanwhile the police gathered CCTV footage from different toll gates on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada highway. Rakesh, who was driving the car, also stopped at a wine shop at Nandigama to buy liquor. Empty liquor bottles were later found in the car along with Jayaram's body.
The accused Rakesh Reddy and his driver were produced before the media and the SP said that they are conducting further investigations to find out if any other person or persons were involved in the murder. When asked about the role of Shikha Choudary in the murder the SP gave an evasive answer that she was only questioned and nothing else. She is still in police custody and details are awaited about her role in the whole case.
Jayaram’s wife demands probe by Telangana Police
Meanwhile, Jayaram's wife Padmashri held a press meet in Hyderabad on Tuesday night and said that Shikha, instead of rushing to the scene, barged into their house in Jubilee Hills and was searching for documents. When Padmashri was asked if anyone or the Andhra Pradesh Police was trying to protect Shikha, she said maybe, and also said that the girl was of a criminal mind and had tried to spoil her family life and was distanced from the family for quite some time.
Jayaram's wife lodged a complaint with Jubilee Hills police station in Hyderabad, demanding that they investigate the case thoroughly as her husband was murdered in the city and that she had no faith in the Andhra Police. She also demanded the Telangana police to probe, especially into the role of Jayaram’s niece Shikha Chowdhary After submitting a three-page letter to the police, she told reporters that investigations by Hyderabad police alone could bring out the truth.