A Telugu Desam Party leader was killed in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur district on Sunday night, the Hindustan Times reported, citing the police. This is the second killing of a TDP leader in the state within a week.

The body of Puramsetti Ankulu, former sarpanch of Pedagarlapadu village, was found at an under-construction apartment complex of the Dachepalle block. Guntur (rural) Superintendent of Police Vishal Gunni on Monday said that they have formed three special teams to track the assailants. “We are inquiring into all angles in the murder, including faction violence and financial disputes between Ankulu and others,” he said.

Initial inquiries have revealed that four persons might have been involved in the killing. “It came to our notice that in the past, too, Ankulu escaped a murder attempt,” Gunni said.

According to the family of the TDP leader, Ankulu received a phone call around 7 pm. “Those who called him might have killed him,” the family told the police. Gunni said that the police have not traced the mobile phone, which can provide important clues in the killing.

On December 29, another TDP leader, Nandam Subbaiah, was killed in Kadapa district’s Proddaturu area. He was killed soon after after alleging irregularities in the house sites distribution programme.

TDP accuses YSRCP of the killing

TDP President N Chandrababu Naidu alleged that the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party was indulging in “murder politics” to eliminate political opponents.

More than 16 TDP leaders have been murdered across the state in the past 19 months of the YSRCP-led government, Naidu said in a statement. “The murder of Subbaiah in Proddaturu and Ankulu in Dachepalle holds a mirror to the criminal intolerance of the YSRCP leaders, who are not able to digest the reality when the Opposition leaders are questioning the government’s failures, corruption and negligence,” the former chief minister alleged.

TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh, the son of Naidu, alleged that the state lacked policing that would protect people. The politician attended Ankulu’s funeral.

Many party leaders and activists, meanwhile, staged a demonstration at the site where Ankulu’s body was found, accusing the YSRCP government of killing political rivals. “It is a cold-blooded murder by YSRC leaders,” alleged former TDP MLA Yarapathineni Srinivasa Rao.

Some TDP leaders raised slogans against the police and alleged their involvement in the killing, according to ANI. The leaders also engaged in a verbal brawl with the police.