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4 in Naidu attack net

Hyderabad, Oct. 10: Andhra Pradesh police investigating the botched Naxalite attempt on chief minister Chandrababu Naidu’s life have taken four persons into custody.

The special investigation team led by additional director-general of police (DGP) D.T. Naik questioned the owner of a sports goods shop where extremists had bought dumbbells, whose components were used as shrapnel in the claymore mines used in the blast.

A rickshaw puller, alleged to have helped the Naxalites find a house in Maruthinagar where they stayed for almost two months, was also taken into custody. The extremists have reportedly been absconding since October 1 — the day of the attack.

Former DGP of Uttar Pradesh Prakash Singh, who is heading a one-man inquiry commission, today called on Naidu during his first visit to Hyderabad after his appointment.

Later, he told newsmen that his mandate was not just to identify the security lapses but also to recommend corrective measures. “I am confident of presenting a report within two months,” he said after a courtesy meeting with the DGP and state home minister T. Devender Gowd.

The surge of crowds continued for the tenth day at the chief minister’s Jubilee Hills residence. Naidu continued to be seated on an elevated platform on the portico of his house and receive party workers.

who were coming in thousands.

Even the scheduled live video conferencing between Naidu and district officials had to be postponed by an hour to accommodate the steady stream of visitors, who included women from self-help groups and supporters from across the state.

Telugu Desam Party legislators and Cabinet ministers appeared to be vying with each other to catch Naidu’s attention.

“I can not disappoint those who come from far off districts,” Naidu said.

Some of the visitors not only wished him a speedy recovery but also expressed confidence that there would be a bumper harvest during the next polls. “Don’t worry Naidu garu. You will return to power with full majority of over 250 seats,” said 30-year-old Raghavamma from Kurnool district.

The PWG has been debating the pros and cons of the attack on Naidu. A recent meeting disclosed that the central committee of the extremist group has lauded the efforts in “eliminating the class enemy”.

The meeting also noted that the critical persons behind the Tirupati blast have moved out of the state to safer places in Orissa and Madhya Pradesh. Balakrishna, who was identified by the police as the brain behind the botched bid, is reported to have fled to the Dandakaranya belt, the police claimed, quoting some informants.

Naidu today addressed partymen and district collectors on television. His video conferencing with the chief secretary was telecast on local cable channels for the benefit of the public. The chief minister indicated to district officials that his illness should not be taken as an excuse for laxity in implementing programmes for the poor.

Gowd said that the government was considering setting up a helipad in Tirumala for VVIPs and those facing security threats like the Prime Minister.

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