In the first major strike in many years in Andhra Pradesh, the outlawed CPI (Maoists) on September 23 shot dead a sitting Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) and a former MLA, both from the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP), in Araku area in Visakhapatnam district, police revealed.
The incident occurred at Lippitiputta village under Dambriguda mandal when Araku (ST) MLA Kidari Sarveswara Rao and former MLA Siveri Soma went to take part in a ‘grama darsini’ (village visit) programme, they said.
Sarveswara Rao won as the YSR Congress candidate in 2014, but he later defected to the TDP.
“A group of Maoists came along with the villagers and blocked the MLA’s car. As the personal security officers of the legislator and the ex-legislator got down, they snatched the AK-47 rifles from them and shot Sarveswara Rao and Soma dead,” Visakhapatnam Range Deputy Inspector General of Police Ch Srikanth told PTI.
He said the exact number of Maoists involved in the attack and the reasons for shooting down the legislator were not precise.
Police sources, however, suspect that a group of about 50-60 outlaws led by Maoists Andhra-Odisha Border Committee secretary Ramakrishna could be involved in the deadly attack.
They reportedly engaged the MLA in a conversation for some time before shooting him dead, the sources added.
As Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is currently flying to New York, officials in the Chief Minister’s Office spoke to Visakhapatnam district collector and superintendent of police seeking details of the incident, a CMO communiqu said.