Police in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur district have arrested eight persons in connection with the murder of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader Thota Chandraiah.
Guntur district Superintendent of Police Vishal Guni announced the arrests of the accused on Friday.
The 42-year-old leader of the opposition party was brutally hacked to death by a group of assailants in full public view in the Gundlapadu village in Veldurthi mandal on Thursday.
The TDP leader was riding a two-wheeler when he was waylaid by the assailants, who attacked him with knives, sticks and stones. The incident between 7 a.m. and 7.30 a.m.and the TDP leader died on the spot.
The SP said a case was registered on a complaint lodged by the victim’s son. Police had gathered clues from the spot and formed four teams to track down the culprits.
Within 24 hours of the incident, police arrested eight accused. According to SP, the main accused is Chinta Shivaramaia. The other accused are E. Kotaiah, S. Raghurama Rao, S. Ramakoteswara Rao, Chinta Srinivas Rao, Thota Anjaneyulu, Thota Shivanarayana and Chinta Adinarayana.
The main accused is a mandal level public representative and reportedly belongs to the ruling YSR Congress Party.
According to police, there was a dispute between Shivaramaiah and Chandraiah over laying of cement road. The investigations also revealed that before Thursday’s incident, Shivaramaiah had gone to a function where some villagers told him that Chandraiah was hatching a plot to murder him.
Shivaramaiah took help of seven others and murdered Chandraiah before the latter could execute his alleged plan. According to police, all the accused belong to the same caste.
The murder had triggered tension in the village on Thursday. TDP president and former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu had visited the village and participated in the slain leader’s funeral.
Naidu had called it a political murder. He alleged that under the anarchic rule of YSRCP several TDP functionaries lost their lives. He said YSRCP was resorting to killing the TDP leaders and workers who were raising their voice against the misrule. He said in the Palnadu region of Guntur district alone tens of TDP leaders and workers were killed.