Hyderabad, Jan 11 (PTI) Three more people were on Monday arrested in connection with the kidnapping of former national badminton player Praveen and his two brothers from here over a land dispute, police said.
The arrested include a personal assistant of former Andhra Pradesh minister Bhuma Akhila Priya, who was already arrested on January 6 in the kidnapping and is lodged in a prison here.
With this, the number of those arrested in the case has gone up to four.
A group of around 15 people, posing as Income Tax sleuths, with fake search warrants entered the house of Praveen, at Bowenpally on the night of January 5 on the pretext of conducting a raid and abducted him and his two brothers, after confining their other family members in a room.
The abductors took Praveen and his brothers to a farmhouse but later abandoned them at Narsingi here in the early hours of January 6 after police intensified search to locate them.
Police rescued the trio from there.
During the investigation, it was established that Akhila Priya planned and executed the crime along with her husband Bhargava Ram (who is absconding), and other accomplices in order to grab the land or extort money from the kidnapped brothers, Hyderabad Commissioner of Police Anjani Kumar told reporters.
The dispute pertains to a 25-acre land located at Hafeezpet here which was purchased by Praveen in 2016.
The three people, who were allegedly involved in the kidnapping, confessed to police that on Akhila Priya's instructions they actively participated in the crime by doing a recce of the house, police said.
In order to hide their identity during their execution of crime the trio had purchased six SIM cards and an equal number of mobile phones and a SIM was given to Akhila Priya while others used the remaining,they said. Names of as many as 19 people have surfaced during investigation but they are under verification, police said.
Meanwhile, a local court granted police three days custody of Akhila Priya from Monday while rejecting her bail plea, they added.PTI VVK BN WELCOME BN WELCOME