Maoists Shoot Dead TDP MLA Kideri Sarveswara Rao, Ex-MLA Siveri Soma In Andhra Pradesh

| September 23 , 2018 , 15:45 IST

Maoists shot dead Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MLA of Araku constituency Kidari Sarvewara Rao and former MLA Siveri Soma in Dumbriguda mandal of Andhra Pradesh's Visakhapatnam on Sunday. The shooting took place during the Maoists weekly celebrations of CPI Maoists Formation Day which will continue till September 27.

According to reports, around 20 Maoists attacked Rao and Soma, snatching the weapons of their accompanying Personal Security Officers (PSOs).

"Around 20 members from CPI Maoist attacked them at around 12 pm, snatched the weapons from the PSOs, and later fired at them. Both died on the spot. Reason behind attack yet to be ascertained," Visakhapatnam DIG Srikanth said.

"We're trying to ascertain facts from the PSOs. As per preliminary information, 20 Maoists were there with weapons and there may be some more in the neighbouring vicinity and they came along with the villagers," he added.

The incident took place when the two leaders were attending a Gramadarshini programme in an interior tribal village in the Araku constituency.

The Maoists reportedly asked the leaders to stop mining in the agency areas which was affecting the livelihood of the tribals and as the talks were going, the Maoists shot the MLA and former MLA close range killing them instantly.

SP Sharma said that notices had already been issued to all the politicians on the Naxals hit-list that they inform the administration before visiting villages, but the visit of MLA Kidari and former MLA Soma to the village had not been intimidated to the police beforehand. As per sources, Maoists had been conducting reccee and observing the movements of the MLA for the past few days.

The number of districts afflicted by violence due to Maoist activities has seen a considerable decrease over the past few years, with 75 districts across 9 states reporting Naxal attacks in 2015, reduced to 64 districts in 2016 and 58 districts only in 2017.

According to CRPF data, from the earlier 9 states affected by Naxal attacks, now more than 90 percent of the attacks are reported from 4 states only, namely, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha. Security forces engaged in anti-Maoist operations have termed 2017 as one of the most successful years for the security forces.