The Andhra Pradesh Police on Tuesday claimed to have cracked the murder case of Florida-based NRI businessman Chigurupati Jayaram with the arrest of a realtor and his driver. Mr Jayaram was honey trapped and killed as he could not repay a loan he had taken from the realtor, police said.
Realtor Rakesh Reddy, the main accused, and his driver Srinivas were presented before media persons.
55-year-old Jayaram, who was the director of Coastal Bank, was found dead on the back seat of his car off the national highway near Nandiagama close to Vijayawada on January 31.
After grilling many people including his relatives, police cracked the case. Krishna District’s Superintendent of Police Sarvashresht Tripathi told reporters that Reddy murdered Mr Jayaram as the latter had failed to repay a Rs. 4 crore loan.
Mr Jayaram, also a Managing Director of Express TV, a now defunct Telugu channel, had come to Hyderabad from the US a few days ago. As Reddy was demanding the money, he had blocked his mobile number.
The accused contacted Mr Jayaram on WhatsApp using another number, using the display picture of a woman, and started chatting with him. ‘She’ asked Jayaram to come alone to a house in Jubilee Hills.
When the businessman reached there, Reddy and his driver overpowered him and tortured him. The realtor demanded Rs 6 crore including the interest. As Mr Jayaram had only Rs 6 lakh with him, Reddy, in a fit of rage, banged him against a sofa. Mr Jayaram sustained a head injury and died on the spot.
The accused then shifted Mr Jayaram’s car and took it to Krishna district and left it in a field adjoining the national highway to make it appear like an accident.
Police gathered clues from the CCTV footage from different toll gates on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada highway. Reddy, 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 Mr Jayaram’s body.
Police investigations revealed that Reddy had come into contact with Chigurupati Jayaram after the latter had sought his help to deal with the problem created by the lockout in his company on the outskirts of Hyderabad. Rakesh then became friends with Mr Jayaram’s niece Shikha Chowdary.
The SP said their investigations were continuing to find out if any other person or persons were involved in the murder.