The murder of former market yard chairman and close aide of Andhra Pradesh I&PR Minister Perni Nani has triggered a political war in the state.
With the ruling YSRCP directly linking the murder to opposition TDP, family members of the deceased, have blamed senior political leader and former state minister Kollu Ravindra for the brutal killing of Bhaskar Rao.
Rao, a backward class leader from the fishermen community, was murdered in broad daylight on June 29 during his visit to the Machilipatnam fish market in Andhra’s Krishna district. Reports hinted that Bhaskar Rao was stabbed with a knife dipped in cyanide that led to his immediate death. Hundreds of supports had rushed to the hospital after news of the murder broke out.
“My husband was murdered for being a people’s man. Kollu Ravindra is the man responsible for the brutal murder of my husband. He should be arrested immediately. We want justice. He was murdered only because he was a nice man and served the people,” Rao’s wife told media outlets.
Andhra Pradesh Minister and Machilipatnam MLA Perni Nani said, “They have got him murdered as they couldn’t face us politically. This is definitely a political murder.”
The MLA also said that Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy inquired about the incident from the Krishna district Superintendent of Police.
Family members have demanded the arrest of Ravindra, an ex-TDP Minister and close aide of former CM Chandrababu Naidu.
In the backdrop of recent arrests of TDP leaders, including senior party functionary Achem Naidu from Srikakulam, this issue can only be expected to snowball into a major flashpoint between the ruling YSRCP and the TDP.
Responding to the allegations, Naidu took to Twitter and said, “ACB, Nirbhaya cases, SC/ST atrocities cases and now they are filing murder cases against TDP leaders. Why are BC (Backward Classes) leaders being targeted? Why this hatred against BC leaders?”
— N Chandrababu Naidu #StayHomeSaveLives (@ncbn) July 3, 2020
Police on Friday arrested three accused in connection with the murder of Bhaskar Rao. They have been identified as Chinta Chinni, a resident of Ulangipalem, Chinta Nancharaiah alias Puligadu and a minor boy. Examination of CCTV footage has led investigators to believe that an old rivalry was a motive for the murder.
Meanwhile, another incident of violence was reported from Guntur district where one of the members of YSRCP’s social media wing was allegedly attacked by a suspected TDP supporter in Rentachintala. At the same time, an opposition party activist Vikram was brutally murdered in Guntur district on Sunday.