The Prakasam district police arrested an MBA graduate and two self-styled godmen for allegedly fooling villagers and indulging in illegal construction of a tunnel in the Puliguha hillocks near Kocharlakota village in Donakonda mandal.
They have reportedly arrested 64 people in the incident, apart from the trio.
The main accused- Surasani Ravindra Reddy- also an MBA with a stable job was lured into building the tunnel by the two godmen. According to reports, Reddy had a high-paying job that earned him Rs 25-30 lakh per annum. According to District Superintendent B Satya Yesu Babu, "However, he began getting interested in commodities trading and real estate, and quit his job. He began facing heavy losses and in 2014. He then consulted a self-styled 'guruji', Umamaheswara Rao based in Vijayawada."
He spent several lakhs to conduct pujas and rituals to find treasures in the state. He was later introduced to 'Guruji' Rayudu who said that he had a vision that there were three underground rooms in Puliguha hillocks. Rayudu had claimed that the first room had Gold, the second room had jewellery and the third room had idols of Gods and goddesses.
Following this, the three appointed close to 50 labourers to dig the hillock. They also promised the workers part of the booty. And in order to convince them, Reddy bought fake jewellery worth lakhs and fooled them into the work. Meanwhile, locals got a whiff of something illegal happening when they heard blasts at the hill site. On enquiring, the accused claimed that they were testing the quality of the rocks there and that they had acquired the necessary permission for it.
According to NewsMinute, on arresting the accused, police seized 175 kg of gelatin sticks, 91 electrical detonators, drilling machines, 15 Kg ammonium nitrate and two generators. Police said, "We have registered cases under multiple sections from damaging public property, to cheating, as well as other sections for indulging in such heavy blasting, without any sort of permission."