Continuing their killing spree in Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy's home district Cuddapah, the Maoists shot dead a Congress leader around Friday midnight.
This is the third incident in the last week where Maoists in Cuddapah district have killed Congress leaders.
The latest killing comes barely a day after another Congress leader was shot dead in the Maoist-affected Tsundupalli mandal in Rayachoti assembly segment. On June 22, the Maoists had killed a reserve police sub-inspector B Narasimhulu in an exchange of fire near the Chief Minister's private estate.
According to police, Congress leader Ramakrishna Reddy was shot dead by Maoists in Timmareddypalle village on Friday midnight.
The victim had a property dispute with his relatives since 1998. His kin had approached Maoists for help in resolving the issue. They warned him a couple of times but he did not heed them.
About half-a-dozen Maoists went to his house and called him out. As soon as he came out, he was shot dead at close range.
Only a day earlier, Maoists had gunned down Congress leader Sibqathullah (55) at Madithadu village in Tsundupalli mandal.
A score of Maoists went to his house and dragged him out before shooting him dead. The Maoists suspected him to be a police informer. About 18 months ago, Maoists beat up Sibqatullah and his son in connection with a dispute.
The spate of killings by Maoists have rattled the district police, especially since the incidents have occurred soon after the new Superintendent of Police Y Nagi Reddy took charge. After remaining dormant for an year, the Maoists have suddenly resumed their violent activities, forcing the police to mount combing operations to flush them out.
Security has been stepped up at the sprawling YSR Estates, the farmhouse of the chief minister's family at Vempalli in Pulivendula constituency.
The district administration is concerned over the spurt in Maoist violence as the chief minister visited the home district 14 times last year and made two night halts in Cuddapah town and in his farm house.
The district police say that Maoists and Janashakti naxalites are active in 14 mandals spread over four Assembly constituencies Rayachoti, Lakkireddypalle, Badvel and Mydukur.