HC confirms life imprisonment to ‘Suri’s killer Bhanu Kiran’

The Telangana High Court on Thursday dismissed the criminal appeal petition filed by Mallisetty Bhanu Kiran, who had been awarded life imprisonment in the murder of Gangula Suryanarayana Reddy alias Maddelacheruvu Suri, and confirmed the life sentence.

A Division Bench of Justices K. Lakshman and P. Sree Sudha pronounced the verdict after hearing contentions of counsels of the petitioner and the government in the appeal plea filed nearly six years ago. The homicide case of Suri reported in 2011 created ripples and attracted wide attention in the undivided State of Andhra Pradesh. The victim Suri was a life convict in the sensational murder of TDP MLA Paritala Ravindra in 2005 which assured political tinge with ruling and opposition parties trading charges.

Suri came out of prison on remission when he was murdered by Bhanu Kiran, said to be his trusted aide then, in 2011. Investigation into this murder case took several twists and turns and the police had a tough time tracking down the accused Bhanu Kiran. He managed to evade the police for more than a year before being caught on the outskirts of Zaheerabad in 2012.

The law and order police of Banjara Hills, who probed the case, were clueless about Bhanu Kiran. Eventually, the case was transferred to the Crime Investigation Department (CID). Initially, even the CID sleuths could not trace him. First lead came to the CID from one of the family members of Bhanu Kiran. CID authorities learnt that the suspect’s friend living in America one day got multiple missed calls from a mobile phone number in India. 

They had a hunch that the calls could have been made by Bhanu Kiran since he required money having gone incognito fearing arrest by police. The call was traced to Pondicherry. Suspecting that he was taking shelter there, CID sleuths rushed there and started tracking before finally catching up with him at Zaheerabad. 

After the special court awarded him life imprisonment in 2017, he filed the appeal petition. His counsel contended that there was no eyewitness to prove that Bhanu Kiran, who was sitting in the rear seat of the car they were travelling in on the day of the murder, shot Suri dead. He had many enemies and anyone of them could have been shot dead, they argued. 

Public Prosecutor Palle Nageshwara Rao, appearing for the State, contended that Bhanu Kiran was the only person sitting on the rear seat and the bullet wounds on the victim’s neck suggest only a person from behind can inflict bullet injuries in such fashion. Moreover, the airconditioner in the car was on and all the windscreens of the vehicles were in rolled up position. There were no signs of windscreens shattering to suggest that a person from outside the car fired at the victim, he argued.

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