Maoists gun down TDP MLA Kidari, former MLA Siveri

Maoists gun down TDP MLA Kidari, former MLA Siveri

File photo of Kidari Sarveswara Rao, MLA Araku

Maoists shot dead a sitting MLA and a former MLA, both from the ruling TDP at Dumbriguda Mandal of Araku Valley in Andhra Pradesh's Visakhapatnam district on Sunday. 

MLA from Araku Kidari Sarveswara Rao and former legislator Siveri Somu were gunned down by Maoists when they were on their way to a peoples contact programme.

Both of them were shot from very close range. They died on the spot on a highway between Dumbriguda and Thottangi just 15 km from Odisha border.

Around 40-50 Maoists were involved in the attack. According to K Chittibabu, driver of ex MLA Siveri Soma the Maoists huddled the gunmen and others at one place under gunpoint while few Maoists took the two TDP leaders in two separate ways by tying their hands behind.

“I tried to reverse the vehicle when I spotted Maoists approaching us. But they succeeded in blocking our way. The Maoists asked us to identify the MLA. After that, they warned us with dire consequences if we moved. They also took away the guns from the gunmen. We couldn’t save the MLA,” rued Chittibabu.

Kidari won the Araku assembly seat from YSRCP party in 2014 elections but later defected to Telugu Desam Party. The MLA is survived by a wife and two sons. Rao was on the Maoist hit list but used to roam around freely, sometimes on a two-wheeler.

The Maoists with the villagers succeeded in stopping the convoy of the MLA. The Maoists charged Soma with passing on information about their movements in Andhra - Orissa Border (AOB) to the police.

Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu who is away in the USA expressed shock over the incident and asked home minister China Rajappa and senior officials to rush to Visakhapatnam. Orders were issued to provide security to all people’s representatives on official tours in Maoist infested areas. Meanwhile, the elite Greyhounds police forces have launched aerial combing of the agency area.

When the dead bodies were brought to Dumbriguda, locals attacked the police station outpost and burned it down. Alleging that the police failed to protect their leaders, they torched furniture and few vehicles. They refused to send the dead bodies to Vishapatnam as planned.

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