Odisha police have reportedly arrested the accused, Dambaru Khila, on Friday for his alleged involvement in the murder of two Telugu Desam Party (TDP) legislators from the Araku Assembly constituency in September last year. The Odisha police handed him over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) after producing the accused in court.
The Koraput Superintendent of Police in Odisha, Dr Kanar Vishal Singh told media that Dambaru was an active member of the Nandapur Area Committee of the outlawed CPI (Maoist), according to reports. The police made his arrest from his native village Kodikhal under Chatua panchayat located close to the Andhra Pradesh and Odisha border. The police recovered two mobile phones from Dambaru.
NIA investigating the case had camped at several places in Koraput district to nab Dambaru.
On September 23, 2018, the two politicians MLA Kidari Sarveswara Rao and ex-MLA Siveri Soma belonging to the ruling TDP were allegedly gunned down by Naxals near Lipittuputtu village, about 15 km from the Odisha border.
Four months after the Andhra Pradesh state police began their investigation, the NIA took over the case suo moto in December 2018. The Andhra Police had initially released the names and pictures of three Maoists, including two women, who took part in the attack. Based on the information gathered from witnesses, the police earlier said that the main accused in the killing was Aruna alias Venkataravi Chaitanya, a Special Zonal Committee Member (SZCM) of the CPI (Maoist).
Aruna, who heads Nandapur Area Committee on Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB), is suspected to have led a group of 50-60 Maoists who allegedly crossed over to Andhra Pradesh from Odisha. Aruna, a native of Visakhapatnam district, is the wife of Pratapreddy Ramachandra Reddy alias Chalapati, who heads AOB Special Zonal Committee Military Commission, according to the AP state police investigation.
However, a month after the NIA took over, the name of Dambaru cropped up during their investigation, following which the agency sought the Odisha police to nab the accused. The NIA has taken Dambaru to Hyderabad for further questioning.