The Andhra Pradesh Police on Sunday said suspected Maoists shot dead Telugu Desam Party lawmaker Kidari Sarveswara Rao and former legislator Shivari Soma, the Hindustan Times reported. The suspected Maoists attacked them near Thutangi village in Visakhapatnam district.

Rao represented the Araku constituency. The attack took place when the two politicians were attending an event.

Visakhapatnam Deputy Inspector General of Police Srikanth said they were trying to ascertain the facts based on statements from the personal security officers of the politicians, ANI reported. “Around 20 members from Communist Party of India (Maoist) attacked them at around 12 pm, snatched the weapons from the personal security officers and fired at them,” Srikanth said. “The reason for the attack is yet to be ascertained.

Protestors set Dumbriguda police station on fire to protest against the murder.

Both politicians had received threats from suspected Maoists in the past, the Hindustan Times reported.

Meanwhile, Visakhapatnam District Collector Praveen Kumar said that Rao’s body was at the Telugu Desam Party in Araku, as his supporters were not allowing it to be taken away, ANI reported. “We are talking with his family and will decide accordingly,” Kumar added.

Security was beefed up along the Odisha border after the attack. “BSF [Border Security Force], CRPF [Central Reserve Police Force] and other state forces put on alert,” Odisha Inspector-General (Operation, Anti-Naxal activities) RP Koche.

Andhra Pradesh Minister for Panchayat Raj Lokesh Nara took to Twitter to express his solidarity with the families of the deceased. “Shocked to learn about the brutal killing of Araku MLA Kidari Sarveswara Rao Garu and former MLA Siveri Soma Garu,” Nara tweeted. “We stand with their families in this hour of grief.”

In 2003, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu survived a Maoist attack in Tirupati and is currently under “Z plus security”, The News Minute reported.