Evangelist arrested in AP for plotting brother's murder

Evangelist arrested in AP for plotting brother's murder

Kilari Anand Paul remanded to 15 days judicial custody

Evangelist arrested in AP for plotting brother's murder

Evangelist Kilari Anand Paul, the founder of “Gospel for Unreached Millions (GUM),” who was arrested on Sunday for allegedly plotting the murder of his brother David Raju, was on Monday remanded for 15 days to judicial custody by the Prakasam district judge.

The evangelist was arrested from the Central Park Hotel in Ongole in Prakasam district of coastal Andhra, around 350 km from here. Ongole police have already arrested Koteswar Rao in connection with the murder.

In 2010, Raju was found murdered in his vehicle near Kommirireddypalli of Mahbubnagar district. Police had identified blood stains in the back seat of the vehicle and recovered a pair of sandals and three fake number plates. Subsequently, Range DIG Swathi Lakra and Mahbubnagar SP Sudhir Babu launched an investigation.

Prakasam district police sources said Paul had hired Rao to kill Raju. He was murdered in the basement of the White House at the Amirpet area of Hyderabad and his body was then dumped in the car. Raju was forced to withdraw Rs 7 lakh from the ICICI bank branch in Jubliee Hills before he was killed, they added.

However, Paul’s relation with Rao soured after the latter resorted to blackmailing him. Paul subsequently approached the Prakasam police and offered Rs 1 crore to bump off Rao in a fake encounter, without knowing that the police had recorded the deal in a spy camera.

The two brothers were at loggerheads ever since Raju, once in-charge of GUM’s city operations while Paul was busy touring the strife-torn African nations in his personal Boeing 737 titled “Global Peace One,” elevated himself as the head of the organisation’s India operations in Raju’s absence.

“You know what has happened to people who tried to suppress me. God will take care of me this time also,” Paul said on Monday, while coming out of the court room.

A native of Naripalli village in Vizianagarm district, Paul, who converted to Christianity at the age of eight in 1971, is not new to controversies. While revenue officials are probing into allegations that Paul’s 1,000-acre “charity city” at Sadashivpet mandal in Medak district includes 331-acre of assigned land, the “Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability” terminated GUM’s membership for failing to meet “financial accountability and governance standards.” Besides, he has been accused of wrongdoing on several occasions.

Following his return to India in September 2007, Paul expressed a keen interest in Indian politics and backed Sonia Gandhi’s candidature as the head of the Congress. Later, he launched a political party, the Praka Shanti. He had an eventful public life and has interacted with personalities like Al Gore, Nelson Mandela.