Vizag Steel Plant Official Murder: Five Arrested in Odisha Capital

Bhubaneswar, Jan 10: The Commissionerate police arrested five people in the murder of I Surya Prasad Rao, the Vizag Steel Plant official. The accused killed him with an intention to loot his money and jewelry.

Two prime accused, who plotted and executed the murder, are identified as Guruji alias Piddina Laxman Rao alias Vadi Rammana (50) of Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh and Srinibas Panda (40) alias Nibas of Balaram village under the Begunia police limits in Khordha district.

Police also arrested their 3 associates identified as Abid Khan (30) of Rayagada, Manoj Kumar Rout alias Luna (31) of Raghunathpur on the outskirts of the city and Kulamani Rout (37) of Gopalpur village in Kendrapara district presently staying at Nandan Vihar under Infocity police limits here.

The police have seized two Maruti cars and five mobile phones during the operation.

Police suspect that more people might have been involved in the gruesome murder. Rao, who was posted as the Assistant General Manager (AGM) at the Vizag steel plant, was found dead on January in VSS Nagar near Hanuman mandir behind the Sainik School boundary.

Talking to media, Twin city Commissioner of Police (CP) Dr RP Sharma revealed that a gang of looters had plotted the murder of the AGM.

He said that the Steel plant AGM was persuaded by the gang led by mastermind Guruji, who had collected the phone number of Rao from a matrimonial site. Rao had given details on the site to look for a bride for his younger son I Balagangadhar.

Guruji had persuaded the AGM to visit Bhubaneswar and meet someone named as Koteswar Rao in Kharavela Nagar area to see his daughter for his sons marriage. Convinced by Guruji, the AGM arrived in the city on a flight from Vizag at around 3 pm on January 4.

Gurujis associate Srinibas Panda had picked the AGM in a hired Maruti Swift Dezire car to the Namah Sai guest house located at Kanan Vihar area here.

Two rooms had been booked in the name of Kulamani Rout, Pandas associate, after discussing with Guest house owner Manoj Kumar Rout, who was promised Rs 2 lakh after murder.

After Rao checked into a room and after few hours, the accused demanded Rs 5 crore as ransom. When Rao did not agree to pay the big amount, he was asked to pay whatever he had. He was taken in a car to two ATMs - ICICI and SBI - through which the accused withdrew a total of Rs 1.27 lakh. They snatched gold rings and a chain from him. When the AGM protested, they beat him up mercilessly and left him unconscious. Later, he was thrown
near the Hanuman temple behind the Sainik School boundary in VSS Nagar area.