Angry kin attack 2 police stations.
Visakhapatnam: Breaking a long lull in their activities in Andhra Pradesh, the outlawed CPI (Maoists) on Sunday shot dead a sitting MLA and a former legislator of ruling Telugu Desam Party in Araku area of Visakhapatnam district, police said.
The gunning down of Araku MLA Kidari Sarveswara Rao and his predecessor Siveri Soma, both belonging to Scheduled Tribe, in Lippitiputta village triggered violence with their irate relatives and local tribals attacking two police stations and blaming the police for failing to protect the two leaders.
Police said Sarveswar Rao, a government whip, and Soma died on the spot in an area considered “semi affected” by Maoists. They had ventured into the area without intimating the police, officials said.
The incident took place during the week-long celebrations of Maoists’ Formation Day.
According to an eyewitness, about 50-60 outlawed Maoists, most of them women, lay in wait along with villagers and suddenly surrounded the car in which the two politicians and their supporters were returning to Araku from Tottangi.
Slogans were raised against the MLA and the Maoists, of whom about were armed, had a prolonged discussion with the two politicians over illegal mining activities.
The Maoists then snatched the weapons from the PSOs and tied the two TDP leaders’ hands with a rope. They then ordered three other people travelling with them, including the MLA’s PA, to get down from the vehicle and took them away to a distance, the eyewitness said. They then shot Rao and Soma dead, he said.
Police officials said that the MLA had received several threats from Maoists in the past.
Both politicians were found in a pool of blood with bullet injuries, he added. Sarveswara Rao was a first-time legislator elected on a YSR Congress ticket but switched over to the Telugu Desam in 2016. He was made the government whip in the Assembly. According to reports, tribals, under the banner of Girijana Sangham, had been protesting against him for several days for allegedly obtaining a mining licence in his brother-in-law’s name to quarry black stone in three hectares in Hukumpet Mandal. Rao had taken the lease in 2008 but tribals started protesting recently saying that it was affecting their livelihood.
Visakha Range DIG Ch. Srikanth and Visakha rural SP Rahul Dev Sharma said they had issued notices to all politicians on the Maoists’ hit list to inform the district administration prior to their visit to villages and remote areas. But the two politicians had not done so though both had received threats from Maoists. The DIG said that the bodies of the MLA and former MLA will be shifted to KG Hospital in Visakhapatnam city. “We have intensified combing operations,” he added.