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Naxalites Gun Down MLA, ex-MLA In Vizag Agency Area

The banned outfit CPI (Maoist) shot dead Araku TDP MLA Kidari Sarveshwar Rao and former MLA Siveru Soma on Sunday morning at Lippittiputtu in Dambriguda mandal in Andhra Pradesh.
Hyderabad | 23rd September 2018
The banned outfit CPI (Maoist) shot dead Araku TDP MLA Kidari Sarveshwar Rao and former MLA Siveru Soma on Sunday morning at Lippittiputtu in Dambriguda mandal in Andhra Pradesh.

According to reports, some 40 Maoists participated in the attack.

Confirming the Maoists' attack, Visakha SP Rahul Dev said that security forces went to the spot and inspected the area.

The police suspect that the attack was directed by AOB Secretary Ramakrishna. It is learnt that Surveshwara Rao was in Araku till 11 am. Later, when he was on the way to Lippittiputtu village for field-level examination along with Soma, two drivers and six others, some 40 Naxalites surrounded him.

Some 20 Maoists stood before the vehicles and warned that the encounter would be severe if they failed to stop the vehicles. After the vehicle was stopped as there was no other alternative, the ultras asked Soma and Rao about their identities and tied their hands. They also snatched the weapons of the gunmen and aimed at them.

The Maoists then talked to the MLA on several issues for about 20 minutes. They lashed out at Rao with regard to his bauxite mining quarries, and demanded that he close down the quarries as they were causing damage to the environment. Reacting to the demand, Rao said that it was not proper for the Maoists to threaten him, and that the issue needed to be solved through deliberations. Enraged over his comment, the extremists fired at the MLA and the former MLA, killing them on the spot.

According to reports, the Maoists participated in the incident only to show their presence in the valley as the Greyhounds teams and the Odisha police had intensified combing in the Visakha Agency Area. The Maoists have been trying to show their presence in the agency area by conducting their weekly celebrations and pasting wall-posters in the area. The Intelligence personnel had warned public representatives not to go to field visits without security, and Rao had apparently disregarded this warning.

Some 10 Maoists were carrying weapons when the incident took place.

Reacting to the incident, AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who is in the USA, expressed his deep shock and condemned the killings. The CM praised the development work done by Rao and Soma, and conveyed his deep condolences to the bereaved families. Naidu also asked the public representatives to be careful when they participated in Grama Darshinis. The Chief Minister's Office directed the officials concerned to take steps to provide full security to the public representatives participating in Grama Darshinis.

The murders of Rao and Soma have become a sensation in the Telugu states. The Maoists had last killed the then Tribal Welfare Minister M Mani Kumari's husband Venkataraju on March 18, 2004. While in the later years the Maoists killed tribals dubbing them as informers, the former's influence decreased drastically as several of them were killed in encounters. After 15 years now, the Maoists have again killed a prominent person, and this will go some way to assert their presence in the area.

Former IPS officer Seetharama Rao opined that the Maoists gunned down the MLA and former MLA only to prove their presence in the Agency Area, and to scare the people and the government. "The incident is a challenge to the government before the elections. The Maoists might have resorted to the murders with an intention to send indications that they are strengthening in the Agency area," the former IPS officer said.
filed in:  Naxalites, Deaths, Murders, Andhra Pradesh, Crime, Andhra Pradesh Crime, Agency Areas
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