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With Due Acknowledgement To: Rakesh Reddy, V.K., The Hindu / ANANTAPUR, August 25, 2011.
Policemen deployed at the entrance of the court in Anantapur on Thursday. Photo: R.V.S Prasad, The Hindu.
Jagan, JC Diwakara Reddy exonerated; murder attributed to age-old family rivalry by CBI.
Eight persons were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by the Anantapur Sessions Court here on Thursday for the sensational murder of Telugu Desam MLA, Paritala Ravindra who was shot dead in broad daylight while coming out of the party office on January 24, 2005.
Ravi sustained a bullet injury in the head resulting in instantaneous death while two others – his gunman and one of his followers – were killed in the resultant shootout. The accused escaped from the scene as some of their associates hurled bombs facilitating their exit.
The Central Bureau of Investigation investigated into the triple murder at the instance of then Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy following allegations that his son Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy and a Minister J.C. Diwakar Reddy had a hand in it, but both were exonerated.
In its report, the CBI concluded that age-old family rivalry between the families of Paritala Ravi and Congress leader Gangula Suryanarayana Reddy (Suri) led to the murder and that the latter hatched a conspiracy while he was undergoing sentence in the Jubilee Hills bomb blast case. J. Srinivas Reddy (known as Moddu Srinu), P. Narayan Reddy, and Rekhamaiah shot Ravindra in the party office.
Concluding the close to six-year-long trial in the case, Principal District and Sessions Judge K. Siva Prasad convicted eight of the accused — Narayana Reddy, V. Rekhamiah, Bhajana Ranganayakulu, A Kondiah, Vadde Srinivasulu, Medimi Obi Reddy, Tarugu Peddi Reddy, and Vanna Hanumantha Reddy -- for murder and awarded them life sentence. In his 402-page order, the Judge said he did not consider it as the rarest of rare cases for awarding capital punishment.
Cases against the three prime accused Suri, Moddu Srinu, and Tagarakunta Konda Reddy were abated as they were murdered in separate incidents when the case was in trial. The judge acquitted four accused – G. Venkatrami Reddy, V. Anand Kumar Reddy, Patolla Goverdhan Reddy, and B. Venkataswamy alias Ramaswamy – while another accused K. Rammohan Reddy was exonerated after he turned approver to the CBI team.
The defence counsel is learnt to have decided to approach a higher court as some of the accused were not convicted, but public prosecutor P. Ranganayakulu claimed that justice had been delivered in the case.
Paritala Ravindra's widow and TDP MLA, Paritala Sunita, who spoke to reporters on the court premises, said she was satisfied with the judgment. She, however, expressed concern that some more people involved in the murder could not be brought to book as they were still at large.
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