ANDHRA PRADESH

Police achieve breakthrough in naxal attack on CM

HYDERABAD OCT. 28. The police probing the attack on the Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, have made a significant breakthrough when they zeroed in on a room in Tirupati town, believed to have been rented by Dussa Sankar, a member of the People's War State Military Commission member.

Sankar, who has been positively identified as the man who bought the dumbbells from a sports shop in Tirupati during August, had left the room situated behind Hotel Bliss, minutes after nine Claymore mines were triggered on October 1 on the Chief Minister's convoy near Alipiri gate on the foothills of Tirumala.

As the vernacular television channels starting running text scrolls on the attack on Mr. Naidu's convoy, Sankar is stated to have enquired from the locality people as to what was happening and disappeared after learning about the claymore mine blast. Police teams, which have begun a painstaking investigation into the unsuccessful assassination attempt, learnt within two days that Sankar was the man who bought dumbbells from a sports store in the temple town.

The police teams, sources said, found a motorcycle and a shirt in the room, which he rented during August first week. Most importantly, the teams also found a statement of expenses maintained by Sankar. Sources were, however, not willing to divulge any more information on the expenses list. Interestingly, the shirt, left behind by Sankar, was stitched by a tailor in Tirupati, as per the label on it.

The investigators learnt that the shirt was stitched at least seven to eight months ago, going by the label as the tailor maintained that he had stopped using the label. He had been using different labels now. This gave rise to suspicion that the PW action team could have been camping in Tirumala or at least visiting the pilgrim town for past eight months or so.

The police teams are now trying to cull out more information from people residing in areas behind Hotel Bliss about Sankar and his associate, Takkallapally Vasudeva Rao alias Ashanna, who was believed to have got the dumbbells sawn off in a lathe machine workshop in the third week of August.

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