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|November 23, 1997||
Police identifies two culprits in Hyderabad blast
In a major breakthrough, sleuths investigating the November 19 bomb blast in Hyderabad, which claimed 24 lives, has identified the owner of the car used in it as Gangula Suryanarayana Reddy.
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu told newsmen on Sunday that about 40 kilos of explosives were planted in the white Premier Padmini car, bought specifically for the blast.
He announced a reward of Rs 500,000 to any one providing information about Suri's whereabouts.
Laxman Reddy, an associate of Suri, has also been found to be involved in selecting the vehicle. Reddy belongs to Yanadi village near Dharmavaram in Anantapur district.
Naidu said inquiries in Karnataka revealed that last September, two prospective buyers from Andhra Pradesh approached two car brokers for buying a second-hand Padmini car. An army officer's vehicle was shown to them. It was also inspected by a third person.
The deal, however, did not materialise as the price quoted was considered too high. The brokers then showed the car, used in the crime. The deal was struck for Rs 30,000 with a brokerage of Rs 3,000.
Meanwhile, film actor and Rajya Sabha member Mohan Babu, who escaped the blast with minor injuries, has demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry into the crime.
"Influential people are behind it," he said, addressing a news conference at his Jubilee hills home, "At least Rs 10 million have been spent to execute the deep-rooted conspiracy."
Mohan Babu, however, refused to name any of the 'influential people.'
"The judicial inquiry announced by the state government is only to buy time, and the Criminal Investigation Department inquiry will not be impartial," he continued, "Only a CBI probe can bring out the truth."
The MP said he had not harmed anyone and ideological differences could not be settled through 'the politics of murder.' The attack, he said, would not derail his fight against corruption.
"People who are afraid that I will expose them in my battle (against corruption) could have conspired to kill me," he said.
On Telugu Desam MLA Paritala Ravindra's statement that a "factional group (of Anantapur district) had targeted him (Ravindra), Mohan Babu said, "That may be his view, but I know that I have also been targeted."
"Had it been only Ravi, they could have got him easily as he had moved in and out of the Rama Naidu studio alone at least on four occasions that day," he said.
Narrating the sequence of the blast, he said after the muhurat shot, he and Ravindra had addressed the media. It was attended by Eenadu's six-member crew who perished in the blast.
"Since my wife, child and a guest had left in my personal car, Ravi offered to drive me home. As we left the studio, a vehicle blaring its horn overtook us forcing our vehicle to brake," he said, "And we saw the television crew shooting footage en route which I told Ravi was not good".
The next moment, there was a massive blast and he was rescued by his bodyguard who broke open the windshield.
Asked why the conspirators had not attacked his personal vehicle which left earlier, the actor shot back, "Do you think they are naive with all the cellular and other gadgets available? They are not playing with toys."
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