Ganti Prasada Rao, a former Maoist leader, was attacked by unidentified miscreants in broad daylight in the heart of Nellore on Thursday afternoon.
His condition is said to be serious. Ganti Prasada Rao (65), popularly known as Ganti Prasadam, was first attacked with a sickle and a few seconds later, the assailants fired at him with a country-made revolver.
Virasam leaders and Maoist sympathisers alleged that some forces, which have the support of police, were behind the attack but the police denied any involvement.
Ganti Prasadam, honorary president of the Amaraveerula Bandhu Mitrula Sangham, arrived here this morning to participate in the Amaraveerula Smaraka Dinam (martyrs’ memorial day) organised by Virasam at the Town Hall.
He was at the Town Hall from 10 a.m to 1.45 p.m and spoke about various political and social issues including the issue of Telangana. He was scheduled to deliver the valedictory in the evening and move some resolutions.
He had lunch with Virasam members around 2 p.m. and left for the Nellore Hospital in Arvind Nagar on a motor cycle to enquire about the health of slain Maoist leader Komara Anand’s sister who is undergoing treatment for cancer.
He was attacked as he emerged from the hospital. DSP P Venkatanatha Reddy told media that a well-armed , three-member gang attacked him around 3.15 p.m. One stabbed him in the neck and left hand while the others fired at him with a country-made revolver.Prasadam collapsed on the ground and was immediately admitted to the Nellore Hospital and later, shifted to the Narayana Hospital at Brahmadevam village in Nellore rural mandal.
“One of them attacked Prasadam with a sickle used to break coconuts. I screamed at them but two of them opened fire and fled the spot. With the help of locals and hospital staff, we have shifted the injured Prasadam to the hospital,” an eye-witness told the media.
Doctors said Prasadam had injuries on the neck and left hand.
He suffered three bullet wounds, one each on the right and left of the lower chest and another on the upper hip. Doctors have managed to remove one bullet.
“We don’t have enemies. I suspect the involvement of police,” Prasadam’s wife Kameswari said.
Virasam members suspect the attack may be the handiwork of “special party” police. Police officials, however, rubbished the allegations and said the attack was pre-planned.
“We have intensified checking on the borders of the district. It is a well-planned and executed attack,” an officer said.
The news spread like wildfire and a large number of revolutionary parties’ workers rushed to the Nellore and Narayana hospitals leading to mild tension.