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Two held in Mumbai for killing of RTI activist in Telangana

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Two men wanted in connection with the killing of an RTI activist in Telangana in May were arrested, police said on Monday.

The Crime Branch of Mumbai Police arrested Rajeshwar Goud Elimati (46) and Rajayya Kasarppu (51) from their homes in suburban Bandra and Jogeshwari, respectively, on Sunday an official said.

He said the duo, who owned toddy shops in Mumbai, were wanted for the killing of Right to Information (RTI) activist Podeti Satyanarayan Narsa Goud.

The 51-year-old was shot dead by unidentified persons in Dharmapuri town in Jagtial district of Telangana on May 9. He was based in Mumbai but originally hailed from Dharmapuri.

Goud had filed several RTI petitions with the excise department of Maharashtra seeking information about illicit sale of toddy in Mumbai, the official said.

After the information was made available, many toddy shops were raided and their licences cancelled by the excise department, he said.

Suffering big losses in the business, some toddy shop owners, including Elimati and Kasarppu, decided to eliminate Goud and allegedly hired contract killers for the job, he said.

The RTI activist was shot dead when he was on a visit to his hometown Dharmapuri.

The Telangana Police had arrested nine accused, including a shooter – who hails from West Bengal – in connection with the killing, the official said.

Elimati, Kasarppu, also natives of Telangana, and another accused were absconding since the killing, he said.

Sometime back, a Telangana Police team had come to Mumbai in search of the duo, but failed to locate them.

Officials of the Mumbai Crime Branch Unit-1 got a tip- off that the two were staying in western suburbs. Accordingly, a trap was laid and they were nabbed, he said.

“We have handed them over to the Dharmapuri police,” said Vinayak Mer, senior inspector of Crime Branch Unit-1.

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