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Faction killings embarrass TDP

Faction killings embarrass TDP
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Highlights

The smouldering loyalist-defector conflict between the Karanam Balaram and Gottipati Ravikumar groups within the ruling TDP came out in the open in Prakasam district with the killing of two persons on Friday night.  

Addanki (Prakasam dist): The smouldering loyalist-defector conflict between the Karanam Balaram and Gottipati Ravikumar groups within the ruling TDP came out in the open in Prakasam district with the killing of two persons on Friday night.

The deceased were identified as Eginati Ramakoteswara rao (50) and Gorantla Anjaiah (60), supporters of TDP MLC Karanam Balaram. According to police, a 30-member gang waylaid and attacked the Balaram followers with sickles and knives at Vemavaram in Ballikurava mandal and when they were return home on two-wheelers after attending a marriage.

Four persons received critical wounds and battling for life in a government hospital at Chilakaluripeta. The district is reeling under tense conditions with police pickets at the vulnerable areas.

Inspector General of Police of Guntur region N Sanjay warned supporters of both leaders against taking law into their hands. Police security was provided at the house of Ravi Kumar at Addanki as a precautionary measure against retaliatory attacks.

The faction history of Karanam and Gottipati groups dates back to 1980s. With the defection of Ravikumar from the YSRC, it became an in-house feud with old timer Balaram in the TDP. Gottipati switched to the TDP much against the wishes of Balaram. Ravi Kumar and Balaram’s son Venkatesh crossed swords from the TDP and the YSRC in 2014 elections. Later, they unwillingly became strange bedfellows with the admission of Ravikumar in the TDP.

Balaram and his son Venkatesh suspected the hand of Ravikumar immediately after the twin murders. The defected MLA was quick to deny the allegation, attributing the offence to local disputes. Balaram urged Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu to take serious measures to put an end to the excess of Gottipati group in the district. He said his followers were killed since they questioned the illegal mining activity on which Ravi Kumar was thriving.

The Guntur range IG N Sanjay, Prakasam district SP Dr CM Trivikrama Varma, and other police officials visited the scene of offence. Vemagiri is reeling under the section 144 enforced by the police authorities to restore law and order after the murders.

The IG said, “We are investigating the case from all angles. We have identified the involvement of 17 people in the case including Gottipati Maruthi, Malempati Lakshminarayana and Malempati Venkateswarlu”. Six special teams led by Prakasam and Guntur rural Superintendents of Police were constituted to nab the accused, he explained.

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