TRS polit bureau member Sambashivudu, a former top Maoist leader was hacked to death by unidentified assailants in Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh, police said today.
Sambashivudu (45) was killed late last night near Gokaram village in Nalgonda district by about 10-15 assailants using sickles and swords. He died while being shifted to Hyderabad for treatment, they said.
Three TRS activists, who were travelling with him, sustained injuries in the attack and were admitted to a nearby hospital, Nalgonda district Superintendent of Police Rajesh Kumar told PTI over phone.
Sambasivudu was returning to Hyderabad after attending 'Telangana dhoom dham', a pro-Telangana cultural programme, at Sangem village in Veligonda mandal of the district.
Sambasivudu, whose original name was Konapuri Ilaiah, was state secretary of CPI(Maoist) and had surrendered before the government in 2009.
He joined the TRS last year to fight for separate Telangana and was made a member of the party's polit bureau.
Sambasivudu was suspected to be involved in the naxal attacks on former Chief Ministers - N Chandrababu Naidu at Alipiri, the foothills of Tirumala Tirupati in 2003, and N Janardhana Reddy in 2007 at Nellore.
He was allegedly involved in a large number of other incidents like killing of MLA Ch Narsi Reddy and attacks on police stations.
TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao and several other party leaders condemned the killing of Sambashivudu.
Rao paid his last respects to Sambashivudu at the state- run Gandhi hospital.
Meanwhile, Sambashivudu's brother Ramulu alleged that the state government and police were behind his killing.
Revolutionary singer Gaddar, a Telangana supporter, claimed that Sambashivudu's killing was part of an attempt by the government to suppress the separate statehood agitation.
Sambashivudu's body was taken to his native place Dasireddygudem in Nalgonda district after post mortem at the Gandhi government hospital here.
Sambashivudu's body was laid to rest at his native village Dasireddygudem in the evening.
TRS floor leader in the Assembly E Rajender and party MLA K T Rama Rao attended the funeral.
Condemning the killing of Sambashivudu, TRS called for a shut down in Nalgonda district tomorrow.
"The government should decide who are responsible for this. People have a feeling of hate towards the government over this incident," Rajender said.
TRS has postponed its protests over power cuts, scheduled to be held tomorrow, to a later date in view of Sambasivudu's death.