The Maoist movement in Andhra Pradesh received a major setback with the arrest of a top leader N Panduranga Reddy alias Sagar in Chennai.
Sagar, the CPI (Maoist) state committee member who was accused in the futile assassination bid on former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu four years ago, was picked up from his hide-out in Chennai yesterday following a tip-off.
A special intelligence team from Andhra Pradesh raided the hide-out and arrested him along with two others who provided shelter, police sources said.
A key figure in the Maoist movement, Sagar (45) is involved in 21 cases of murders and carries a reward of Rs 2 lakhs on his head. He had masterminded several attacks in the past targeting politicians and policemen.
He was also involved in the recent attack on former chief minister N Janardhan Reddy and his minister wife Rajyalakshmi in Nellore district.
Sagar was also invoved in the attack on former Prakasam district Superintendent of Police Maheshchandra Ladda two years ago.
A native of Prakasam district, Sagar was mostly operating in Nallamala forest area and was recently made the secretary of the Nallamala forest division of CPI (Maoist).
The Maoist leader is likely to be produced before a court at Markapur in Prakasam district later today, police sources said.