The CID court in Hyderabad today convicted Bhanu Kiran, the principal accused in the murder seven years back of gangster Gangula Suranarayana Reddy alias Maddelacheruvu Suri, and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
The court also convicted and awarded a 5-year jail sentence to the second accused in the case Manmohan Singh Bhadauria, and acquitted the remaining four accused (Vamsidhar Reddy, Avula Venkataramana, Sulam Subbaiah and Hari Babu) due to lack of evidence.
The case, investigated by the CID sleuths, saw the examination and the recording of the statements of 93 witnesses.
Bhanu Kiran has been in the Chanchalguda central jail for the last six-and-a-half years after the murder of Suri. Bhadauria has also been the jail for the last seven years, and has been released since he was sentenced for only five years.
Reacting to the judgement, Suri's wife Bhanumati said that Bhanu Kiran should have been sentenced to death, and that he had taken Rs 1 crore from Suri's enemies to kill him.
For the uninitiated, the murder of Suri, who was shot dead in a car in the Yousufguda area in Hyderabad, had created a flutter in the then undivided AP. Kiran, an aide of Suri, had shot him dead following differences over some financial matters, while they were returning home after a meeting with a lawyer on January 3, 2011. Kiran had escaped from the crime scene after the murder, but was caught at a dhaba on April 21, 2012. The police had seized a revolver, three cell phones and a couple of ATM cards from his possession.
Suri, a Congress leader, was involved in several criminal cases in the faction-ridden Ananthapur district, and was also the key accused in the killing of Paritala Ravi, who was gunned down in Ananthapur town January 24, 2005.
The factional rivalry between the families of Paritala Ravi and Maddelacheruvu Suri had hit the national headlines in 2010 following the release of Rakta Charitra
, a multilingual film produced by Ram Gopal Varma.