Six mandal level leaders of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) party in Telangana were reportedly kidnapped by Maoists from a remote village late in Khammam district on Wednesday evening.
Quoting sources, The Hindu reports that news of the alleged abduction of the TRS local leaders emerged on Thursday afternoon after the ruling party leaders did not return to their respective homes from the remote village where they had gone to meet some people.
The TRS Bhadrachalam constituency in-charge M Ramakrishna was among those who were abducted by the suspected rebels, the report adds.
This comes a day after Communist Party of India (Maoist) urged the people to boycott the Warangal by elections on Tuesday demanding that the state government stop fake encounters.
In a reported letter released later by the group, the Maoists demanded that the government stop all combing operations along the Telangana-Chhattisgarh border and take immediate action against the police officers involved in the Warangal encounter in September where two Maoists, Sruthi and Vidyasagar Reddy, were gunned down.
"If the fake encounters are not stopped, then we will kill two TRS leaders from the mandal to the state level for every Maoist killed in such an encounter," the statement reportedly warned.
The Times of India quotes a source in the home department, who says "In this instance, they were detained when they went for the meeting. Such incidents are common before elections. They want to project that they are still relevant. There is no need to give much importance to the incident. The Maoists have done this and issued a statement only to create a sensation."
Jalagam Venkat Rao, the TRS MLA from Kothagudem constituency in Khammam district told the newspaper "They are our district party workers. While we are yet to get details of the incident, we are in touch with the police who are working on a strategy for their release."