Former Andhra Pradesh Minister and YSRCP General Secretary Dharmana Prasada Rao moved the Hyderabad High Court on Monday asking for protection from the state police at the earliest, stating that he feared a threat to his life. Prasada Rao moved the HC days after Maoists allegedly gunned down and killed Araku MLA Kidari Sarveswara Rao and ex-MLA Siveri Soma from the TDP in Visakhapatnam district on September 22.
The state government's counsel said that there was no threat perception to Rao, adding that if he were to apply for protection again after the recent killings, a state-level security review committee would look into the matter and take a decision accordingly.
Besides the committee, the HC named the Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary (Home), Srikakulam District SP and Intelligence Additional Director General as respondents.
Last week, the police released the names and pictures of three Maoists including two women who took part in the attack near Lipittuputtu village, about 15 km from the Odisha border. 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 Communist Party of India-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.
Police said they were trying to identify the other Maoists involved. Special police teams have launched a hunt for the guerrillas involved in the attack.
Speaking to reporters after visiting the crime scene, Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) RP Thakur 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. We have formed a special investigation team with a SP-rank officer to ascertain what exactly happened."