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Sunday, May 18, 2008

TDP leader, 8 others hacked to death

Killers plan the brutal attack meticulously

Two persons in hospital with multiple injuries

KURNOOL: The uneasy peace in the faction-ridden Kurnool district was shattered when a Telugu Desam Party leader, Palegar Venkatappa Naidu, and eight others were done to death in a brutal manner near Kodumur in the district on Saturday.

The killers rammed an empty truck at high speed into the jeep in which Naidu was travelling towards Kurnool. As the jeep lay mangled, some men waiting at the spot reportedly hurled crude bombs at the TDP leader and later attacked them savagely with hunting sickles.

Their prime target, Naidu (63), died instantaneously of wounds suffered in the head, neck and face. His police gunman Ramudu, driver Chenna Kesavulu, and his nephew Sivasankar Naidu and five others were also killed while two others were battling for life in the Government General Hospital with multiple injuries.

The killer truck, which also became immobilised after the incident, was left on the spot while the assailants fled in other vehicles. Police found an abandoned Tata Sumo vehicle near Gorantla, about 25 km from the spot of murder. Blood-stained weapons and unexploded bombs were recovered from the vehicle by police. During the past few years, factional violence in this district has been under control due to stepped-up vigilance by police and ‘counselling’ of the factionalists. However, last week, factionalism raised its head when a Congress activist Ranganna was killed by rivals.

The killers had masterminded the crime meticulously. They closely followed Mr. Naidu from his native village, Kappatralla, for Kurnool at around 9 am. After travelling 3 km, Mr. Naidu shifted to another vehicle, but informants positioned en route, conveyed this to the killers who selected a spot between Bodapadu and Kunnur to carry out the murder.

Police and rescue workers struggled to remove the bodies from the mangled remains of the jeep. TDP district president Byreddy Rajasekhar Reddy blamed the Congress leaders for the murder.

A hostile crowd greeted Superintendent of Police N. Madhusudan Reddy and other police officers at the spot. They raised slogans against the police and smashed the panes of a few buses.

12 attacks

Mr. Naidu who belonged to backward class Valmiki community has been a staunch supporter of TDP Polit Bureau member K.E. Krishna Murthy.

He had survived 12 attacks on his life over the last 38 years but the 13th attempt proved fatal in spite of all the security cover.

సోర్సు: ది హిందూ

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