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Two weeks after the Tirupati mine blast, the police have zeroed in on two key operatives of the Peoples’ War special action team. A Tirupati sports shop owner helped identify one of them as Ramesh, who apparently came to his store with another man a month before the blast and bought dumbbells weighing 75 kg. These dumbbells were apparently filed down and used as shrapnel in the claymore mines.
The second man identified is PW district committee member T. Vasudeva Rao alias Ashanna, wanted in connection with the landmine blast that killed state panchayat raj minister Madhavana Reddy in 2000 and the murder of senior cop Umesh Chandra in 1999. The attackers detonated the mines from close by and must have escaped on a motorcycle, say the police.