Hyderabad: A key accused in the killing of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader and eight others on Tuesday surrendered to the police in Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh.
Madduleti Naidu and two others surrendered before police officials at Kurnoo town but insisted that they had no role in the murder of P Venkatappa Naidu and others.
In one of the worst incidents of violence in Rayalseema region, the TDP leader and his followers were killed on Saturday when a truck rammed into their Tata Sumo van. The assailants, who arrived in another vehicle, then attacked them with bombs.
THE FLASHPOINT: This was one of the worst incidents of violence in Rayalseema region.
While nine people were killed, two others were injured in the attack, which was initially thought to be a road accident.
Madduleti Naidu denied owning the truck involved in the incident.
Venkatappa Naidu was a powerful leader in the region and had several criminal cases pending against him. He had a long running feud with another factional leader, V. Padma, who allegedly enjoyed the backing of the ruling Congress party.
On a complaint by Venkatappa Naidu's relatives, the police have booked murder case against 18 people including Padma, Madduleti Naidu and Kotla Harichakrapani Reddy, a cousin of Kurnool MP Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy.
Suryaprakash Reddy, son of former chief minister Kotla Vijaybhaskar Reddy, has denied that his family was involved in the murder.
Kurnool and three other districts of Rayalseema region are notorious for deadly factional violence linked to the Congress and TDP.
The TDP has alleged that more than 130 leaders and cadres were killed in the region since the Congress came to power in the state four years ago.