BRS party worker murder in Telangana: Political or personal? Deceased’s family reveals facts

The police have arrested three accused and have denied any political angle to the death of ex-Army jawan and BRS worker C Mallesh.

ByDeepika Pasham

Published Jan 16, 2024 | 12:51 PMUpdatedJan 16, 2024 | 12:51 PM

The deceased Mallesh C was a former Army jawan and BRS party worker. (X)

On 29 December 2023, a BRS party worker and retired Army soldier — Chikkepally Mallesh — was brutally killed in Gantraopally, within the jurisdiction of Sathapur village in Nagarkurnool.

His wife filed a complaint with the Peddakothapally police the next day, expressing concerns that her husband was a victim of murder, possibly due to a land dispute.

Subsequently, an investigation was conducted, leading to the arrest of three suspects — Chikkepally Naresh (38), Giri (38), J Mallaiah (36).

However, that’s not the focus today as politicians from both the ruling Congress in the state and the Opposition BRS are pointing fingers at each other as “masterminds” behind the crime.

While the narratives diverge, it all seems to revolve either around a contentious land dispute or a politically motivated murder.

Political conspiracy afoot

Chikkepally Srinivas, the deceased’s brother, speaking to South First, said, “My younger brother was killed in our village. The land is ours and the accused are relatives of ours. I had previously asked my brother to give the half acre land to those relatives to avoid any fights because the two accused — C Naresh and Giri — would consume alcohol and create a nuisance in front of my brother’s house. But he left saying that they were drunkards and that he would transfer the land to them after the elections, as there would be changes in the Dharani portal. They had no rights but still, my brother was patient to share the land.”

Following the news of the party worker’s death, Minister KT Rama Rao met with the family, presented them with a cheque for ₹5 lakh, and assured that the BRS party would shoulder the responsibility of the children’s education.

Mallesh’s family strongly condemned the killing and hinted at a political conspiracy, suggesting that the real culprit might be from the Congress party, unable to witness Mallesh’s growth within the BRS party.

“The land dispute and our relatives were used by the Congress party to kill my brother Mallesh, who was working for the development of Peddakothapally village,” Srinivas charged.

On 15 January, Congress Minister Jupally Krishna Rao held a press meeting, blaming the accused as close relatives.

Disputing this claim, Srinivas stated, “We would like to correct the facts on his facts later this week when we conduct a press meeting in Hyderabad.”

He asserted that local political leaders were manipulating the situation for their gain, infringing on land rights, and vowed to fight until the real culprits were behind bars.

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Police investigation

Regarding the police investigation, Nagarkurnool’s Superintendent of Police Gaikwad Vaibhav Raghunath explained to South First, “In this case, the accused was arrested more than 10 days ago. The deceased’s wife Nirmala had informed us that there is a pass-book for a half-acre land in Survey No 499 within the limits of Gantraopally village and that the same land has been in the possession of the accused Naresh for a long.”

He added, “During the investigation, we found that Naresh is the co-parcener of the deceased. They both hail from the same village. In this regard, some quarrels occurred between them as the deceased used to obstruct Naresh while he was plowing the above land.”

SP Raghunath further explained, “In 2018, Naresh’s son died due to drowning while he was swimming in a well. Following this, Naresh had alleged that his son died because of Srinivas, the deceased’s brother, who was also swimming in the same well at the same time.”

The SP noted that, keeping all this in mind, Naresh decided to kill Mallesh and further hatched a plan with the other accused. On the evening of 29 December, Naresh waited in Giri’s auto with a sharp weapon, while Mallaiah followed the deceased who was collecting chit amounts in the surrounding villages.

When the deceased Mallesh reached the spot, all three — Naresh, Giri, Mallaiah — attacked and stabbed him indiscriminately with sharp sickle-type knives and he died on the spot.

“All three have been arrested and sent for judicial custody. There is no political angle to this case,” explained SP Raghunath.

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Politics over murder

Mallesh, a retired Army jawan and dedicated party worker, played a crucial role in the party’s past successes. On 14 January, KTR met the deceased’s family and expressed sorrow over the loss of such a committed member.

Highlighting the unprecedented nature of the incident, KTR stated that while political victories and defeats are a part of the democratic process, the act of political opponents and factions taking a life is reprehensible. In a constituency where political murders were previously unheard of, Mallesh fell victim to such violence.

Irrespective of the ruling party, KTR insisted on stern action against the perpetrators of this heinous crime, calling for justice for Mallesh’s family. Allegations of political motives and attempts to link the incident to land disputes were made, prompting KTR to demand an impartial investigation. Advocating for a comprehensive inquiry, KTR recommended the personal involvement of the Director General of Police (DGP).

Countering KTR’s statements, Krishna Rao, said in a press meet, said that the BRS leader was attempting to exploit Mallesh’s demise for political gains.

“While the Congress party vehemently denies any political conspiracy, we express our strong condemnation of Mallesh’s killing and extend our deepest condolences to his family. The government is committed to supporting the Mallesh family,” he said.

He added, “In my political career spanning over two decades, I have consistently opposed the promotion of politics through violence. As a seven-term MLA, my track record speaks for itself, and I urge KTR to consider the qualities of the former MLA of Kollapur before making unfounded allegations.”

“BRS leaders seem to be twisting facts and labeling others as wrongdoers, forgetting their shortcomings. Accusations and politicisation of this tragedy are inappropriate, and KTR should introspect before making baseless claims,” Rao charged.

He further stated the police had already apprehended and remanded the accused in the case. “Attempts by KTR and BRS leaders to exploit this incident for political gains are evident. Mallesh, who met a tragic end, was a BJP sympathiser who later joined the BRS before the elections.”

The current Minister for Excise and Prohibition, Tourism, and Culture added, “Engaging in mudslinging and defamatory behaviour is detrimental. I caution against such practices and emphasise the importance of maintaining political integrity. BRS’s habit of political opportunism has placed them in the opposition, and we pledge to investigate instances of democracy abuse, government fund misappropriation, irregularities in grain purchases, and the sand mafia during their governance. Every penny will be accounted for and deposited in the government treasury.”

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