Vice-Chairman of the Visakhapatnam Zilla Parishad Ugrangi Somalingam was shot dead by three members of the CPI (Maoist) at his residence in Choutupalli in Chintapalli mandal of Visakha Agency on Monday night.

Bauxite mining in Visakha Agency area, strongly opposed by the Maoists, could be the reason behind the killing. They have been warning people's representatives not to support bauxite mining and killed the previous Vice-Chairman Samida Ravishankar three years ago alleging that he was canvassing support among the Girijans for bauxite mining.

Somalingam was the second ZP Vice-Chairman killed by the Maoists. Samida Ravishankar, the then Vice-Chairman was shot dead by the Maoists at his native village Hukumpeta while he was participating in a local festival on May 28, 2007.

The 59-year-old Somalingam, who represented Chintapalli Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituency (ZPTC), was elected as Vice-Chairman on July 26, 2007. According to reports reaching here, a group of Maoists encircled his house around 8 p.m. and three of them called him out. They shot him as he came out.

More In: Visakhapatnam