Hyderabad, Dec 1 (IANS) Maoist guerrillas in Andhra Pradesh Saturday shot dead Pantu Naik, a leader of the ruling Congress party, in Mahabubnagar district.
Three Maoists gunned down Naik, president of Amangal Mandal Praja Parishad, while he was praying in a temple in Maisigandi village, police officials said.
Before fleeing into the nearby forests, the attackers left behind a letter from the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), warning of more attacks to avenge the killing of its cadres by police in allegedly stage-managed gun battles.
The attack, which took place after a long lull in Maoist activities, sent alarm bells ringing in the top echelons of the police force as officials claim to have brought Maoist activities under control with the killings of several top leaders in the last two years.
Intelligence agencies had recently warned that Maoists could launch surprise attacks as documents seized from guerrillas in Bihar and harkhand mentioned the CPI-Maoist's plans of reviving the movement in the southern state.
Politicians and policemen on the hit list of Maoists have been asked to be vigilant while moving around, especially in the interior areas.
The failed assassination attempt on former chief minister N. Janardhan Reddy in Nellore district in September, the stepped up violence in the tribal areas of Visakhapatnam district, and the unearthing of a plot to attack Congress legislator P. Ramaiah in Prakasam indicate the Maoists' resolve of reviving the movement.
Maoist violence in the state has claimed more than 6,000 lives since 1969. The state has been Mamost stronghold and it was here that the People's War Group (PWG) took birth.