Burqa-clad killers gun down Chittoor mayor in her office

The first woman mayor of Chittoor, Katari Anuradha, was shot dead in a pre-meditated attack in her office chambers in broad daylight today. Her husband, Mohan, a senior TDP leader, received grievous bullet injuries is struggling for life.

A Saye Sekhar November 18, 2015 01:00:52 IST
Burqa-clad killers gun down Chittoor mayor in her office

Hyderabad: The first woman mayor of Chittoor, Katari Anuradha, was shot dead in a pre-meditated attack in her office chambers in broad daylight on Tuesday. Her husband, Mohan, a senior TDP leader, received grievous bullet injuries is struggling for life.

The assailants, suspected to be six in number, attacked the couple with swords after spraying bullets. While the duo lay in a pool of blood, the assailants fled the municipal corporation office jumping over the gate of the compound wall, according to eyewitness testimony recorded by the II Town police.

Burqaclad killers gun down Chittoor mayor in her office

Katari Anuradha. Twitter @shanmugham17

At least two of the assailants were clad in burqas and they had entered the mayor’s chamber on the pretext of meeting her personally. They carried bouquets with them while four suspected assailants, were said to have kept guard outside. However, the total number of attackers is yet to be ascertained.

The police shifted the mayor to Chittoor Government Hospital. However, she succumbed to the injuries en route. Her husband is undergoing a surgery at Christian Medical College hospital in Vellore in Tamil Nadu at the time of filing this report.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has strongly condemned the attack and said the culprits would not go scot free. He confirmed the surrender of two of the assailants. Though TDP legislator from Vijayawada Bonda Umamaheswara Rao alleged that the Opposition YSR Congress was responsible for the killing of the mayor and that former Chittoor lawmaker CK Jayachandra Reddy alias Babu, who had a running feud with the mayor’s husband, was behind the murder, the police say a close relative of the mayor’s husband (his nephew) is the main accused in the case.

In fact, the mayor’s husband, Mohan, was the prime accused in the case of attempt on the life of CK Babu over a decade ago. Two of the former MLA’s gunmen were killed in the attack, while Babu escaped the attempt.

The Chittoor police said that the assailants could have come from Karnataka. The Chittoor-Karnataka borders were sealed and the vehicles were being searched. The followers of Anuradha’s husband Mohan have attacked the property of one Chintu, the nephew of Mohan, suspecting his hand in the attack. They also set ablaze a couple of motorcycles and a four-wheeler. Tension gripped Chittoor after the news of the mayor’s assassination spread.

Sniffer dogs were pressed into action and they went and stopped at the residence of Chintu alias Chandrasekhar. The mayor’s followers alleged that Chintu was responsible for the killings.

The police say the mayor was shot at from a point-blank range. The police suspect that it was a premeditated and meticulously designed murder, for the attack occurred at a time when the mayor’s gunman was on leave.

TDP workers launched a flash strike by organising a rastaroko at P Kothakota between Poothalapattu and Naidupeta on Bangalore Highway. Deputy Chief Minister N ChinnaRajappa and several other ministers have moved to Chittoor after the incident.

Anurdaha, a homemaker, was first elected as councillor in 2007. She was elected as corporator after Chittoor was upgraded into a municipal corporation.

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