The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken over the case pertaining to the brutal murder of TDP MLA Kidari Sarveswara Rao and ex-MLA Siveri Soma allegedly by Naxals, from the Andhra Pradesh police‚Äôs Special Investigation Team (SIT). The two politicians were gunned down on September 23 this year after they attended a party programme, near Lipittuputtu village, about 15 km from the Odisha border.
The police said that the banned CPI (Maoist) was behind the attack, which was planned in Odisha, and added that the NIA has taken over the case suo moto, as it has the authority to investigate such inter-state cases.
‚ÄúSince the NIA has a strong force to take up such cases related to the safety of the country, we handed over the case to the NIA,‚ÄĚ Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) RP Thakur was quoted as saying.
According to reports, the NIA has already questioned four people who were arrested earlier in the case, which included one former Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituencies (MPTC) member.
Earlier in September, speaking to reporters after visiting the crime scene, DGP RP Thakur had said, "It is an act of cowardice by the Maoists. I have met with officers and discussed how they carried out the killing. We will take strict action against the culprit. There will be no softness there."
Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had also visited the families of the slain TDP men and assured them of financial assistance from the state government and the party.
The police had earlier also released the names and pictures of three Maoists including two women who took part in the attack. Based on the information gathered from witnesses, the police said that the main accused in the killing was Aruna alias Venkataravi Chaitanya, a Special Zonal Committee Member (SZCM) of the CPI (Maoist).
Aruna, who heads Nandapur Area Committee on Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB), is suspected to have led a group of 50-60 Maoists who allegedly crossed over to Andhra Pradesh from Odisha. Aruna, a native of Visakhapatnam district, is wife of Pratapreddy Ramachandra Reddy alias Chalapati, who heads AOB Special Zonal Committee Military Commission.