Staff Reporter

Police open fire; one injured as rivals hurl bombs in Rentachintala mandal

Unidentified persons at Ramakrishnapuram waylay Gottam Ramakoti Reddy and his follower Boya Venkata ReddyThrow chilli powder at them and hack them to deathIn another incident at Manchikallu, a TDP sympathiser injured in attack by rivals

GUNTUR: The sarpanch of Mettagudipadu and his follower, both belonging to Telugu Desam Party, were done to death on Friday night in pre-panchayat poll violence in Rentachintala mandal of Guntur district.

Their bodies were found close to the Nagarjunasagar Project Right Canal.

In another incident at Manchikallu in the same mandal, a TDP sympathiser was injured when a group of persons belonging to a rival party attacked him with axes, sickles and countrymade bombs in the evening.

Some unidentified persons at Ramakrishnapuram waylaid Gottam Ramakoti Reddy, Mettagudipadu sarpanch, and his follower Boya Venkata Reddy, while returning from a TDP review meeting at Gurazala on a motorcycle at 8 p.m. The assailants threw chilli power at the two and when they stopped the vehicles hacked them to death with an axe.

Firing opened

While the culprits fled in the dark, the pillion riders came back to Gurazala and informed other party leaders who rushed to the spot. Sarpanch of the village for past 15 years, Ramakoti Reddy was doing business in Miryalaguda in Nalgonda district for some time. The faction killings began here in May 1996 when Gottam Siddha Reddy of TDP was killed that followed killing of G. Koti Reddy in November that year.

The TDP district president Makineni Pedarathaiah, former Minister J.R. Pushparaj, former Gurazala MLA Yerapathineni Srinivas, and Rajya Sabha member Laljan Basha came to the spot and registered their protest at Gurazala.

At Manchikallu, the police had to open fire to disperse two warring groups. According to Gurazala Deputy Superintendent of Police M. Vijay Singh, a group of 15 armed men attacked one Vemula Peda Narsiaiah, with axes causing injuries on his legs. Later, the rival groups hurled country bombs at each other. Narsaiah's leg got fractured and he was rushed to hospital.

Police picket posted

The police came to the spot on learning about the incident and tried to disperse the two warring groups, but when they did not relent the Rentachintala Sub-Inspector of Police fired a round in the air and the groups dispersed. Some 100 bombs were hurled at each other in the village.

A police picket was set up at the village and additional personnel drawn from the nearby police stations. The incident was a retaliatory action to a similar one that occurred in September 2005 in which a Congress sympathiser lost his legs at the same place when a group of TDP men attacked him, Mr. Singh added.