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BJP leader among 3 shot dead by Maoists

Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD: The Bharatiya Janata Party Manchal mandal unit president, M. Mahender Gowd, was shot dead by Maoists in broad daylight on Friday, near Ibrahimpatan in Ranga Reddy district, around the time the APCC president, K. Keshava Rao, began his Gandhi Sandesh yatra in a nearby village.

In separate incidents since midnight on Thursday night, a Telugu Desam upa-sarpanch has been killed in Warangal district and a surrendered naxalite in Nizamabad by extremists. A Janashakthi activist was shot dead by the police in an encounter in Guntur district in the early hours.

The Cyberabad Police Commissioner, M. Mahender Reddy, said Mahender Gowd's killers were on his trail since he left home at Tallagudem on a motorcycle and waylaid him two and a half km away on the road to Ibrahimpatan. They did not leave any clue to suggest the reason for the killing.

Police sources, however, suspect the killing to be an act of terror against political activists. In the other incidents, Gandra Rajeswara Rao, the upa-sarpanch of Golla Budharam village in Mulug Ghanpur mandal, was shot dead by Janashakti extremists in Warangal district around Thursday midnight. He belonged to the TDP. A surrendered naxalite, Mukku Dasaratham, was killed by Maoists in a similar fashion at Easaipet village in Machareddy mandal of Nizamabad district.

A Janashakti naxalite, Koppala Srinivasa Rao, was killed in an encounter with the police near Pedagarlapadu village of Dachepalli mandal in Guntur district in the early hours of Friday.

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