Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader and former top Maoist Sambasivudu was hacked to death by unidentified assailants in Andhra Pradesh's Nalgonda district, police said on Sunday.
He was attacked late Saturday at Gokaram when he was returning after attending 'Telangana dhoom dham', a cultural programme to demand a separate Telangana state, at Sangem in Valigonda mandal of Nalgonda district, about 120 km from here.
About 15 assailants in two cars chased Sambasivudu who was travelling in a car with his five supporters at around midnight. The attackers forced the TRS leader's vehicle to stop and attacked him with swords, sickles and other sharp-edged weapons. Three of his supporters were injured when they tried to save him.
The 46-year-old succumbed to his injuries while being shifted to Hyderabad, police said.
The body of Sambasivudu, who was allegedly involved in attacks on former chief ministers N. Chandrababu Naidu and N. Janardhan Reddy, has been kept at Gandhi Hospital where an autopsy will be conducted Sunday.
His family members alleged that police were involved in the killing. They said police used its agent and former Maoist Nayeem to kill Sambasivudu.
The former state secretary of the Communist Party of India-Maoist had surrendered before then home minister Jana Reddy in 2009 on grounds of ill-health. He had reportedly developed differences with other Maoist leaders.
Last year, he joined TRS and was made politburo member of the party, which is spearheading the movement for a separate Telangana state.
Sambasivudu, who joined Maoist ranks in 1990, was involved in 80 cases of violence, including attack on Chandrababu Naidu in 2003, failed assassination bid on N. Janardhan Reddy, and also the Balimela attack on June 29, 2008, in which 38 policemen belonging to anti-Maoist force Greyhounds were killed.