Maoists kill Telangana leader in Andhra, over 100 quit party posts

Himalayan News Service

Hyderabad, June 18:

Maoist guerrillas killed a leader of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) in Andhra Pradesh early today, prompting more than 100 party members to quit their posts in panic. The rebels murdered Nagabhushan, a member of the local body Mandal Parishad Territorial Committee (MPTC), in Veeranapally village of Karimnagar district. Nagabhushan’s daughter Lavnya said a group of armed Maoists knocked on their door early today and ordered her father to accompany them to discuss an important issue. After covering some distance, the attackers cut his throat with sharp edged weapons. In a letter left behind by the Maoists, they warned that TRS leaders who continue to remain in their posts despite their ultimatum would meet the same fate.

The incident created panic among TRS ranks in the Telangana region and more than 100 party leaders in Karimnagar have resigned en masse. They include dozens of village heads and members of district, sub-district and village level bodies. Reports from Nizamabad and Adilabad districts also said dozens of TRS leaders had quit party posts to escape Maoists’ wrath. This was the first killing of TRS leader by Maoists after their ultimatum ended Wednesday. Communist Party of India-Maoist and Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist Janashakti had warned TRS to sever links with the ruling Congress in the state. They had also asked TRS leaders to quit their posts. The leadership of TRS, which is fighting for separate statehood for the Telangana region, ignored the ultimatum. But Maoists have accused the TRS of betraying the people of Telangana by sharing power with the Congress at the centre and in the state and forgetting their promise to achieve a separate state. The attack came a day after TRS leader and Labour Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and urged him to expedite the report of the committee appointed by the ruling United Progressive Alliance at the centre on Telangana.