Vijayawada: Former minister and TDP leader Kollu Ravindra, who has given police the slips in Machilipatnam of Krishna district, was arrested in Tuni of East Godavari district, in connection with the murder of YSR Congress Party leader and agricultural market yard chairman Moka Bhaskara Rao. Police said that political rivalry between one Chinta Nancharayya and Bhaskar Rao coupled with personal grudge were the reasons for Rao’s murder.

The arrest of Ravindra has led to a tense atmosphere in parts of Krishna district. Suspecting that the TDP activists may indulge in violent incidents, the officials deployed police forces at sensitive areas to prevent untoward incidents.

On Friday night, the police nabbed Ravindra in Tuni when he was on his way to Vizag by car. Kollu Ravindra had allegedly been absconding since Wednesday, when the Krishna district police arrested three people, including the prime accused in the murder of Bhaskara Rao. So far, six people, including Kollu Ravindra, have been arrested in connection with the case.

Krishna district SP M. Ravindra Babu said that the A-1 (Chinta Chinni) in the murder case has revealed the role of Kollu Ravindra in the murder case.

Ravindra Babu said that one Chinta Nancharayya, who is a close aide of Kollu Ravindra, had disputes with Bhaskara Rao. Nancharayya, with the support of Kollu Ravindra, had been trying to eliminate  Bhaskar Rao since 2013, stating that Rao had obstructed his political growth in Machilipatnam region. However, Kollu Ravindra asked Nancharayya to execute the murder without giving any scope of the surface of his name in the murder.

The 57-year-old Bhaskara Rao was stabbed to death by three persons, including Chinni, in broad daylight on June 29 while he was inspecting construction work at the fish market near Koneru Centre in Machilipatnam.

Minutes after the murder of Bhaskar Rao, Chinni called up Kollu Ravindra’s personal assistant on the phone and informed that they finished the work. Kollu Ravindra asked Chinni and others to take care and not make phone calls to anyone for some days, said the police officer. “We have collected the call data recordings and it has revealed the role of Kollu Ravindra in the murder case.”

The prime accused, Chinta Chinni, told the police that Kollu Ravindra was involved in the murder case and that he has played a key role in the elimination of Bhaskar Rao. Within hours of the murder, the police identified the accused using CCTV footage, which showed them fleeing on a bike with a teenager.

Ravindra Babu said that Chinta Chinni, Chinta Nancharayya, Chinta Nagamalleswara Rao, Chinta Vamsi Krishna, Kollu Ravindra, and a minor boy were arrested by the police under Section 302 and 109 of IPC.

“We produced Kollu Ravindra before the court and he was remanded. The investigation is on to establish the role of a few others,” the police added.

Dismissing allegations that the arrest of Kollu Ravindra was a revenge act by the YSR Congress government, the police said that they have established the role of Kollu Ravindra in the murder case and there is no scope for speculations

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