VIJAYAWADA: A Non-Resident Indian (NRI) was found dead under mysterious circumstances in his car at Ithavaram village of Nandigama mandal on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada National Highway on Thursday night.Nandigama police, who started their investigation into the case, told TNIE that the NRI, identified as Chigurupati Jayaram, 60, was brutally killed by being repeatedly punched on his nose. The police, who found four alcohol bottles in the car, suspect that the killer might have tried to project the murder as death in a road accident.
Jayaram, who lived in Florida, United States, used to visit Hyderabad once a month to look over his businesses. He owned a pharma company — Zenotech Laboratories — in Hyderabad and some other business ventures in Andhra Pradesh. He was also the director of Coastal Bank and the managing director of a vernacular TV channel Express TV till it was closed some time ago.
According to Krishna district SP Sarvashreshth Tripathi, the incident happened around 11 pm on Thursday. A highway patrol party found Jayaram’s car parked in an agriculture field 50 feet off the national highway near Ithavaram. When the team found Jayaram dead in the car, they immediately alerted Nandigama police. With the help of the mobile phone found in the car and other documents, police identified the victim and informed his family about his death.
The police said Jayaram had left his home in Hyderabad alone on Thursday afternoon. The CCTV footage at Panthnagi toll plaza showed Jayaram sitting in the back seat of the car, while an unidentified person was at the wheel. “After our preliminary investigation, we came to the conclusion that it was a pre-planned murder and two or three people must have been involved in the crime. The post-mortem report will ascertain the cause of Jayaram’s death,” said Tripathi.
In their preliminary investigation, police gathered that Jayaram was going to Vijayawada to attend a meeting on Saturday and also asked the regional manager of Coastal Bank to arrange accommodation for him in the city. The motive for the murder can be established once the stranger in the driving seat of the car is arrested, said the police. “We suspect business rivalry could be the reason for the murder. We are waiting for his family members to reach India,” said the SP.A case under Section 302 of IPC was registered and further investigation is on.