Seven persons, including four Delhi-based contract killers, who had allegedly gunned down three persons in Andhra Pradesh last month have been arrested here in a joint operation by Crime Branch of the Delhi Police and their Vijaywada counterparts.
On September 24 morning, Gandham Nageswararao (70), Gandham Marayya (40) and Gandham Pagidi Marayya (30), all residents of West Godawari district of Andhra Pradesh, were shot dead on NH-16 while they were travelling from Vijaywada City to Eluru in their car, police said.
"The killers were travelling in a car and a motorcycle when they intercepted the victims' car and opened fire at them killing all three. The driver of the victims' car escaped unhurt," said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav.
A case of murder was registered at Unguturu Police Station, Vijayawada City, Andhra Pradesh.
The murders were the result of personal enmity. There existed a long-standing feud between two families. One family consisted of Butham Govindu, Butham Srinivasarao and Butham Durgarao, while the other family consisted of Gandham Nageswararao, Gandham Marayya and Gandham Pagidi Marayya.
Both the families are residents of the same village Pinakadimi, West Godawari.
On April 6, Butham Durgarao of the Butham family was shot dead in West Godawari district. He was killed by contract killers from Mumbai.
Thinking that Nageswararao family was behind Butham Durgarao's murder, Butham Govindu vowed to kill the entire Nageswararao clan and fled to London from where he masterminded the entire conspiracy.
He roped in contract killers from Delhi. The police in AP contacted Delhi Police Crime Branch and a joint team was made.
The team apprehended the seven accused yesterday from Delhi. The four Delhi-based contract killers are Partap Singh (35), Dharamveer (32), Nitin (27) and Neeraj (22). The three others, who played roles of planners and conspirators, are Manjeet Singh (35), Satish Kumar (27) and Pankaj (22).
Police said the main conspirator was Sirigirichina Sriniwas, hailing from Peninakadimi Village in West Godawari district of Andhra Pradesh and presently living in Delhi.
He was given the contract for killing by Butham Sriniwas Rao and Butham Govindu and others for about Rs 1 crore.
Sirigirichinna Srinivas contacted Ombir Singh, a resident of Delhi and presently residing in Ghaziabad, for executing the contract.
Ombir Singh along with his accomplices Pankaj, Satish and Manjeet Singh planned the criminal conspiracy along with Sirigiri Chinnasriniwas.
"They hired the contract killers who were paid Rs 8-10 lakh each. They reached Eluru on September 22," said Yadav.
The car, motorcycle, six weapons along with ammunition were provided to them for the killings by the Buthams. After executing the killings, they fled to Delhi, he said.