The special investigation team (SIT) probing the alleged scandal, claimed to have seized incriminating evidence during searches till last reports came in.
“We conducted searches at seven places in Haryana, Kerala, Karnataka and Telangana,” TOI quoted a SIT official as saying.
A team comprising 80 policemen drawn from Cyberabad, Hyderabad and other police units, swooped down on houses of the three arrested accused — Faridabad-based religious preacher Ramachandra Bharathi, Hyderabad-based businessman Nanda Kumar and Simhayaji Swamy of Tirupati. The team also searched Dr Jaggu’s residence at Kochi in Kerala.
The searches were conducted at Bharathi’s houses at Faridabad in Haryana and Puttur in Karnataka and Simhayaji Swamy’s residence in Tirupati. SIT personnel also raided Hyderabad businessman Nanda Kumar’s houses and restaurant at Jubilee Hills locality.
Police also claimed to have evidence that points to a legislator’s relative, Srinivas, who booked Simhayaji Swamy’s flight ticket to Hyderabad from Tirupati. Police are likely to add more people as accused in the case once special teams return with evidence from other states.
It is learnt that the investigating team will record audio of the accused for building strong evidence against them.
The police already have video and audio recordings of the accused – Ramachandra Bharati alias Satish Sharma, Simhayaji and Nandakumar.
These recordings were made when they were meeting four MLAs of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) at a farmhouse at Moinabad near Hyderabad on October 26 to allegedly lure them to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
On a tip-off by one of the MLAs, Cyberabad police arrested the accused.
The SIT is trying to collect more information from the accused based on the conversation they had with the TRS MLAs.
On the first day, SIT officials had questioned the accused at Rajendranagar police station.
The investigating officials are trying to find out about those who are behind the attempt to buy the MLAs. They are also trying to ascertain who had agreed to provide Rs 250 crore to them.
The state government on Wednesday constituted a SIT to probe the case following Telangana High Court lifting the stay on the investigation.
The SIT is headed by Hyderabad Police Commissioner C. V. Anand. Six other police officers are the members of the team.
The three accused said to be BJP agents were arrested from a farmhouse at Moinabad near Hyderabad on the night of October 26 when they were allegedly trying to lure four MLAs of TRS with offers of huge money.
Cyberabad police conducted the raid on a tip-off by Pilot Rohit Reddy, one of the MLAs. He alleged that the accused offered Rs 100 crore to him and Rs 50 crore each to three others.
The accused were booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Prevention of Corruption Act.
(With inputs from agencies)