The protesters said that the police did not provide adequate security to the two leaders, and blamed the police for their death.

After murder of TDP MLA by Naxals agitated supporters set police stations on fireVijay Sekhar Burra/Facebook
news Crime Sunday, September 23, 2018 - 17:59

Following the murder of Araku Valley MLA Kidari Sarveswara Rao and ex-MLA Siveri Soma by Naxals, the Araku and Dumbriguda police stations were vandalised and set on fire by supporters of the two MLAs.

On Sunday afternoon, followers of Kidari Sarveswara Rao and Siveri Soma, both of whom belong to the Telugu Desam Party, staged a protest in front of the police stations, and said that the police did not provide adequate security to the two leaders. They blamed the police saying it was due to their failure that both leaders were dead. While the police reportedly tried to pacify them, it did not work, and the crowd gathered began to vandalise the police station and set things on fire.

The crowd stopped the vehicles with the bodies and protested in front of the Araku Police Station. Visuals show people barging into the police station, throwing out and kicking tables, chairs, tables and files being set on fire, and even some bikes were ablaze.

Speaking to TNM, Visakhapatnam SP Rahul Dev Sharma said, “We have arranged additional forces from nearby police stations and have brought the situation under control. The supporters of the MLA stopped the vehicle with the bodies while on its way for post-mortem, and vandalised the police station and burnt a few things. We will assess the damage and then take the action needed”.

Sarveswara Rao and Siveri Soma were gunned down near Thutangi village, about 125 km from coastal city of Visakhapatnam, when they were reportedly returning after attending a party function. They were shot from point blank range.

They were allegedly intercepted by a group of armed Naxals while they were returning in two vehicles.

After ordering others to leave, they began talking to the MLA and the former MLA about their alleged role in mining in agency areas. They later pumped bullets into the two leaders, killing them on the spot. Both were shot in the head and chest.

Director General of Police Ch. Srikanth said that the crime occurred between noon and 1 pm about 15 km from the Odisha border. He said that the Naxals snatched the weapons from the two leaders' security guards before sending them away.

Senior police officials rushed to the spot as the bodies were taken to the King George Hospital at Visakhapatnam for autopsy.

Police said both Rao and Soma had received threats from Naxals in the past.

Rao was elected from Araku on a YSR Congress Party ticket in the 2014 elections by defeating Soma of the TDP. In 2016, Sarveswara Rao switched loyalties to the TDP. In July this year, tribals had protested against the MLA for allegedly obtaining mining lease in the name of his brother-in-law. They had alleged that quarrying of black stones was damaging the houses of tribals at Guda village.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister N Chinna Rajappa said that a probe will be conducted to find out how the Naxals managed to attack the two leaders.

He pointed out that Naxal activities in Andhra Pradesh were controlled in the last four years, though they were reported to be active in neighbouring Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Telangana.

With IANS inputs

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