VIJAYAWADA: In a shocking incident, a man doused a car with petrol and set it on fire with three persons inside the vehicle in broad daylight in the city on Monday. The incident took place at a feeder road near Novotel Hotel under the Patamata police station limits around 3:30 pm. One person sustained severe burns in the incident.
After conducting preliminary inquiry into the car blaze, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP-1, Law and Order) Harshavardhan Raju said Venugopal Reddy and his three friends Krishna Reddy, Gangadhar and Nagamalli, started car finance business in 2015 and they incurred loss amounting to Rs 2 crore.
One suffers severe burns, the accused absconding
The quartet were planning to shut the business when differences cropped up among them. Even as they were in the process of closing the business, Venugopal Reddy reportedly came up with a proposal to invest on a land to recover from the huge loss.
On Saturday, he called the three partners for discussing the proposal. They decided to meet on Sunday. However, with heavy rains lashing the city on Sunday, their scheduled meeting was postponed to Monday. As per the plan, all the four met and went round the city in the car. They had lunch at a hotel in Tadepalli, discussing their plan.
“When Venugopal Reddy raised the proposal to invest some amount on land, the three others refused and also blamed him for the loss incurred in the business. Their discussion slowly turned into an argument and Venugopal Reddy took the car keys and left the place.
When he did not return, the three others called him and after 15 minutes Venugopal Reddy came back, locked the car doors, doused the vehicle with petrol and set it on fire. Later, he fled the scene, the DCP said. With the help of passersby, the trio managed to unlock the doors and came out of the burning car.
By then, Krishna Reddy suffered severe injuries. He was rushed to the GGH. The two others managed to escape with minor burns. By that time a fire tender rushed to the place, the car was completely burnt.
A case of attempt to murder was registered against Venugopal Reddy at Patamata police station. A manhunt was launched to nab him, Harshavardhan Raju said.