NEW DELHI: Seven persons, including four contract killers, were arrested here on Monday for shooting dead three members of a family at Peda Avutapalli near Vijayawada on September 24.
They are Pratap Singh, Dharamveer, Nitin, Neeraj, Manjeet Singh, Satish Kumar and Pankaj.
All the seven accused were produced in the city court which gave the Vijayawada police a five-day custody of all the accused, joint commissioner of police (crime) Ravindra Yadav said on Tuesday.
During interrogation the seven accused revealed that the main conspirator was Sirigiri Chinnasrinivas, who hails from West Godavari district and lives in East Delhi’s Kalyanpuri.
Gandham Nageswara Rao (70), Gandham Marayya (40) and Gandham Pagidi Marayya (30) were shot dead on NH-16 when they were travelling from Vijayawada to Eluru in a Chevrolet Tavera SUV.
The contract killers chased the Gandhams’ car in a Mahindra XUV and on a motorcycle.
“Four men were travelling in the XUV and two on the motorcycle. They opened fire at the occupants of the Tavera, but the driver managed to escape unhurt,” he said.
Probe by the local police revealed that the sensational triple murder was the result of personal enmity between two families in West Godavari district.
One family consisted of Bhutam Govindu, Srinivasa Rao and Durga Rao; and the other of Gandham Nageswararao, Marayya and Pagidi.
On April 6, Durga Rao was shot dead in Pedavegi police limits by killers hired from Mumbai. Marayya and Pagidi were arrested for the murder and released on bail later.
Sirigiri was contracted by Bhutam Govindu and Srinivasarao. Govindu lives in London and allegedly paid the contract killers.
Sirigiri contacted Kalyanpuri resident Ombir for executing the killings. Ombir, along with his accomplices Pankaj and Manjeet, planned the conspiracy to eliminate their targets. Five contract killers _ Dharamvir, Pratap, Neeraj, Nitin and Sanjay _ were hired and paid RS 8 to 10 lakh each.
On September 22 they reached Eluru by train and stayed at Royal Hampi Lodge. After executing the killings, they returned to Delhi via Visakhapatnam and Kolkata.
All the four contract killers committed several cases of murder and robbery in the national capital and were out on bail, said Yadav.