'Khasim's murder a fallout of gang war'

The special teams formed by the City Police have solved the alleged murder of Md. Khasim, a rowdy-sheeter, with the arrest of seven persons including the main accused, Merugu Chittibabu alias Chittimamu and the seizure of the weapons allegedly used in the crime.

“The motive behind the murder was revenge killing that had its roots in the gang rivalry,” Police Commissioner Mahesh Chandra Laddha told the media here on Friday.

The accused has been identified as Merugu Chittibabu (42) from Alipuram, Ambati Madhusudana Rao alias Rushikonda Madhu (26) of Chinna Rushikonda, Seelam Satish (23) of Ramatalkies Road, Gudla Vinod Kumar Reddy alias Rama Talkies Vinod (26), Sayyed Rehan (24) from PM Palem, Choppa Hemantha Kumar of Malkapuram and Gathada Srinivasu (22) of Burma Camp area.

“There has been a rivalry between two groups—one led by Khasim, along with one Bathina Murali and the other by Chittimamu—and four to five members of both the groups have been killed in gang wars since 2011. Khasim was another victim,” said Mr. Laddha.

According to police, Chittimamu’s gang allegedly had been tracking the movement of Khasim ever since he came out of the Central Jail after the one-year term awarded to him under the PD Act was quashed by the High Court on technical grounds.

Chittimamu reportedly procured a second-hand auto three months ago to conduct a recce and six swords from the Deccani Sikh community, professional blacksmiths from Anakapalle. He also procured a .32 country-made pistol, reportedly from Bihar.

Basing on information that Khasim would come to a reputed tiffin parlour near Diamond Park on August 2, Chittimamu allegedly deputed three people to conduct a recce and the latter confirmed it. Chittimamu then sent another team to commit the crime.

“As Khasim left the area on a scooter, Ambati Madhu and Vinod Reddy followed him on a bike. They rammed the bike into Khasim’s scooter in a secluded area on LIC Building road,” said Mr. Laddha.

As Khasim fell off the scooter, the CP said, Ambati Madhu allegedly tried to fire at him with a pistol but the half-cocked weapon did not work.

Meanwhile, the other four accused who were following Khasim in an auto allegedly hacked him to death.

The accused including Chittimamu fled the city on the same night in the auto after giving the pistol to one Srinu at Kasimkota and dumping the swords in a bush.

The gang abandoned the auto near Annavaram and went to Kakinada. where they stayed for a day. Then they reached Rajahmundry and hired a car to Bhadrachalam. They returned to Rajahmundry to take shelter at Jonnada.

After tracking their movement, the police teams finally nabbed them at Moodumadalu Junction near Thadi on Thursday evening. The police also recovered six swords, a pistol, a chilli powder packet and the auto.

Investigation

“Despite heavy rain on the night of the murder, blood stains were found in the weapons and they have been sent to lab for testing. We are tracing six others whose involvement in the case is suspected,” Mr. Laddha said, adding that necessary action including booking the gang under PD Act will be considered.

All the accused, he said, have cases pending against them.

“The kingpin was wanted in seven cases including a murder, two attempts to murder and a kidnapping. Ambati and Satish also have murder cases pending against them,” the CP added.

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