News/City Updates

Andhra Pradesh doctor loses Rs 5.5 crore in rice pulling con, commits suicide with family

East Godavari Police has uncovered the mystery surrounding the suicide pact between an orthopedic surgeon and his family in Amalapuram last week. It has come to light that Dr. Penmatsa Ramakrishnam Raju, who ran an ortho multi-specialty hospital in Amalapuram, Andhra Pradesh, was duped of Rs. 5.5 crore by a four-member rice pulling gang.

Cops arrested Varikooti Venkata Venudhara Prasad, the kingpin of the gang on Tuesday and he revealed how Dr. Raju was a very superstitious person and fell for the scheme due to the heavy debts he was in. The accused convinced him that they had a device capable of attracting rice which would bring wealth and prosperity to the doctor’s house.

The doctor had borrowed the amount in installments from local money lenders at high rates and paid it to the gang. He was assured by the rice pulling gang that the money would be doubled by the magical powers of the rice they possessed. When he came to realise that he had been scammed, the doctor injected himself, wife Lakshmi Devi and physician-son Dr. Krishna Sandeep with high doses of an anesthetic, which led to their death. The younger son, Vamsi Krishna was not at home at the time of the incident.

Amalapuram DSP Shaik Masoom Basha said that gang leader Prasad hailed from Koduru village in Krishna district but had been living in Hyderabad. Prasad, Shawalin, Anantharam, and Srinivasa Rao had formed a rice-pulling gang in the state and went around scamming many around Kakinada and other districts in Andhra Pradesh in the past few months. East Godavari police have organised special teams and are hunting for the remaining accused.

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