Man kills 3 on bus to Chennai

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A maniac stabbed to death three passengers on an Andhra Pradesh government bus plying from Bhadrachalam to Chennai and escaped into darkness at Tada when the driver stopped on hearing screams in the early hours of Thursday.

The deceased were identified as Utpala Niranjan, 36, of Ongole, Korrapati Rambabu, 50, of Tallur in Prakasam district and Ajay Biswas, 25, of Malkangiri in Odisha.

The killer also inflicted knife injuries on software engineer Juvvala Ramesh working at TCS in Chennai when he screamed on seeing him stabbing Rambabu, eyewitnesses told Deccan Chronicle.

On hearing Ramesh screaming, driver M.K. Khan brought the bus to a halt and switched on the lights. However, the killer jumped out of the bus even before it came to a complete halt and vanished into the darkness around 4 am., they said.The bus had 24 passengers when it left Bhadrachalam for Chennai.

“Ramesh’s screaming jolted us rudely out of our deep sleep. We saw someone jump out of the bus and then there was so much of blood. We saw two men dead and a third victim gasping. We were terrified”, said passenger Ravikumar, a lecturer in an engineering college at Ongole.

The third victim, Rambabu, died on the way to the Gummidipoondi hospital. Ramesh has been admitted in Nellore government hospital.

Killer could be an escaped maniac

Even as the passengers on the ill-fated route number 8771 of APSRTC screamed in horror at seeing blood all over and the killer jumping out, standby driver Alla Sammaiah was the first to assess the situation and call 108 ambulance.

With the bus following, the ambulance rushed Rambabu, profusely bleeding from his neck, to the Gummidipoondi hospital, but he died before medical help could reach him.

Strangely, the Gummidipoondi hospital staff refused to attend to Ramesh’s injuries on the shoulder and hand, citing jurisdiction of the crime and shortage of staff. After much pleading, they dressed up the wounds and told Ramesh he should go somewhere else. He was finally admitted in the Nellore government hospital, where doctors said he was out of danger.

The killer, according to driver Khan and Ramesh, was wearing a red shirt with black stripes and a black trouser. He was about 5’4’’ and bald.

SP Ramana Kumar said seven teams have been formed to hunt for the killer. Photographs of ‘maniac’ Samba, who had escaped from police custody at Vijayawada recently, were shown to the passengers and the crew but no one could identify him. Samba had allegedly raped and killed many women in Andhra Pradesh over the last couple of years.

The police are not ruling out other angles. “It is possible that the killer was targeting one man and attacked the others as well just to divert us”, an officer said, adding that alerts have been sent to the police in Tamil Nadu and neighbouring districts of Andhra Pradesh.

Also, the photographs of another suspect, Anthony, wanted in Tamil Nadu and Kerala for murder, were also shown to the bus passengers but none could say he resembled the killer in their bus. Kerala police had recently alerted the Chittoor police after Anthony’s mobile phone signal was traced by a tower at nearby Renigunta.

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