Contract killers bumped off activist for Rs 15 lakh

Days after RTI activist Lingaraju was hacked to death by three men right in front of his house at Vittal Nagar in Chamarajpet, police on Thursday arrested Azad Nagar corporator Gowramma’s husband Govindaraju and seven contract killers hired by him to eliminate the whistle-blower.

Police Commissioner B G Jyothi Prakash Mirji said Govindaraju had paid Rs 15 lakh to notorious rowdy Chandra and his associates to finish off Lingaraju.

Chandra, his henchmen Velu, 41; Shankar alias Gunda, 32; Umashankar alias Bhavani, 45; Rangaswamy alias Ranga, 23; Raghavendra alias Raghu, 23; and Shankara, 23, have been taken into police custody.

Clean chit

Mirji, however, said Govindaraju’s corporator-wife Gowramma had no role in the murder. “We will question her if further investigations into the case reveal anything about her role in the murder,” he said.

Lingaraju had been consistently collecting documents under the Right to Information Act, exposing the illegal and corrupt activities of Govindaraju and Gowramma.

He had also provided these documents to the officials concerned and filed a complaint in the Special Lokayukta Court and with the Upalokayukta against the corporator and her husband.

The Upalokayukta had forwarded the complaint to the Lokayukta police who had taken up the case. The Lokayukta police on November 9 raided Gowramma and Govindaraju who had amassed property worth more than Rs 16 crore.

Enraged by the police action, Govindaraju hired contractor killers Chandra, Velu and Shankara by agreeing to pay Rs 15 lakh to eliminate Lingaraju. He had also paid 2.5 lakh as advance to the gang and another Rs five lakh after the murder of Lingaraju on Tuesday, police said.

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