Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, Apr 18 (UNI) Former Andhra Pradesh Legislator Suryapratap Reddy alias Sureedu was murdered by unidentified assailants as he got down from the Venkatadri Express at the Tadipatri railway station, about 80 km from here, today.
As soon as the news spread Mr Reddy's supporters went berserk and attacked police and forcibly made the shopkeepers to pull down their shutters in Tadipatri and Dharmavaram.
Sureedu, who was coming from Hyderabad was reportedly attacked by a group of unidentified assailants armed with hunting sickles as he got down from the train in the early hours today.
Eyewitnesses said the assailants threw chilli powder on the legislator and killed on the platform. No arrests have been made so far.
The legislator, a known factionist was representing Dharmavaram constitutency in the Andhra Pradesh assembly. He had switched over to Telugu Desam Party(TDP) on the eve of 2004 General elections and unsuccessfully contested as a TDP candidate.
A non-governmental electoral watchdog had raised an uproar over the ruling TDP, nominating Sureedu, as its candidate, despite his alleged criminal background.
Tension prevailed in Tadipatri, Dharmavaram with Mr Reddy's supporters reportedly going berserk in the wake of his murder.
The supporters pelted stones on the police and forcibly made the shop owners to close down their shops. Section 144 was imposed in Tadipatri.
Scores of TDP activists and supporters gathered at the Tadipatri Government hospital, where the body was kept.
Tadipatri bus depot, cancelled bus services in the wake of the sudden outburst of violence. The TDP supporters also gave a bandh call in Tadipatri. Tension prevailed in the entire Anantapur district.
Elsewhere in Nalgonda near Suryapeta, TDP activists staged a rasta roko in protest against the murder. Similarly, protests were reported from Kadiri in Anantapur and Kurnool.
Former Chief Minister and TDP President N Chandrababu Naidu has also proceeded to Tadipatri.
The gunmen of the slain legislator was being questioned by the police.
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