Staff Reporter

Party workers stage protest alleging Diwakar Reddy 's involvement in Sureedu's murder

VIJAYAWADA: Panchayat Raj Minister J.C. Diwakar Reddy on Thursday rejected the TDP's charge about his involvement in the killing of former MLA K. Suryapratap Reddy (Sureedu) at Tadipatri on Tuesday, saying it was the TDP's habit to indulge in a `Goebbelian propaganda' on every thing.

Mr. Reddy asserted that he did not have any political dispute with Suryapratap Reddy, which could have become the basis for his killing.

It was the result of a dispute between two families, but his family was not involved in it. Moreover, the two families (of his and of Suryapratap Reddy) were living in two corners of the district.

"It was the result of two murders that took place in the district soon after Sonia Gandhi's visit and another murder a few days later. There was also the incident of felling of some trees," Mr. Reddy said.

Earlier, the TDP leaders and activists staged a rasta roko on the National Highway-9 near Paritala on Thursday, bringing traffic to a halt for about half an hour in the morning.

But their attempt to gherao the Minister was foiled, as local Congress leaders joined the police in putting up a strong defence.

Scores of TDP activists gathered on the NH by 10 a.m., soon after coming to know that Mr. Reddy would pass through the route on the way from Paritala where he had participated in a grama sabha along with Union Panchayat Raj Minister Mani Shnakar Aiyar.

A few minutes before Mr. Reddy's convoy zoomed past them, the police swung into action and physically removed the TDP leaders who squatted on the highway.