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Ex-Ranji player held for duping industrialists, posing as aide of Telangana IT min

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The Hyderabad police on Saturday (March 6) arrested a 25-year-old former Ranji cricketer for allegedly extorting money from realtors, educational, and corporate companies in the name of making grand arrangements and publicity for the swearing-in of Telangana IT minister KT Rama Rao as the chief minister.

The accused Budumuru Nagaraju was posing as the personal secretary of KTR. He had introduced himself as Bandari Tirupati, PS to Rao.

According to Hyderabad police commissioner Anjani Kumar, Nagaraju collected phone numbers of the businessmen from websites and called them for donations for the alleged swearing in. From six out of nine complaints received so far, he had collected close to ₹40 lakh, the cops said.

The police expect more number of victims to come out to complain about Nagaraju’s cheating. The commissioner hinted at booking him under the Preventive Detention (PD) Act.

Last month, there was widespread talk among political circles that Rama Rao would be sworn in as the chief minister in place of his father K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR). But, KCR himself downed the curtains on the speculation by frowning at the leaders who became a part of such a campaign. He asserted that he was healthy and declared that he would continue to be the chief minister.

Addiction to lavish lifestyle

Nagaraju from Srikakulam district is a post-graduate in business administration. He had represented Andhra Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy matches between 2014 and 2016.

The police say Nagaraju took to cheating to make quick money to be able to cater to his lavish lifestyle.

“While playing, Nagaraju was getting sponsorships from various firms and so got habituated to a luxurious lifestyle, and developed various vices. He turned to crime to earn easy money through illegal channels to sustain his lavish lifestyle,” Anjani Kumar said.

The commissioner said Nagaraju has been facing 10 cheating cases in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana since 2018. Cases are registered in police stations under Hyderabad and Cyberabad commissionerates in Telangana and Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Guntur and Nellore cities in Andhra Pradesh.

The police seized ₹10 lakh and the cell phone used in the commission of offence from Nagaraju.

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