Criminal arrested for killing monk in Andhra’s Chittoor

A criminal was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly murdering a Hindu monk found dead under suspicious circumstances in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district last month, police said.

Bathala Ramachandra (40), a resident of Saraswathipuram in the district but living in Jangalapalle village in Irala mandal now, was arrested for murdering M. Poornachandra Reddy, also known as Achyutanandagiri Swamy.

Reddy (75) was found dead on January 26, following which C. Reddappa Reddy lodged a police complaint.

Police registered a case of murder and their investigations led them to Ramachandra.

Ramachandra was missing from the time the crime occurred but on Wednesday, police received a tipoff about his whereabouts, leading to his apprehension.

“Ramachandra throttled the monk with a kerchief and stole Rs 52,000 cash from the spiritual centre,” a police official told IANS.

He said that the accused person also had a reputation of not sparing even old women, corroborating the account of Lakshmamma, the monk’s helper, who escaped an alleged rape attempt from Ramachandra that day.

Reddy and Lakshmamma were living in Ramateertha Ashram for the past 20 years. The ashram has 10 rooms where devotees stay and cook their own food whenever they visit.

However, on that day, only he and Lakshmamma were present there.