Hyderabad, Nov 8 (IANS) A court in Andhra Pradesh's Chittoor district Thursday upheld the seven-year sentence awarded to two men for attempting to assassinate former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.
The fourth district court of Chittoor, however, struck down the lower court's order sentencing Maoist leader Panduranga Reddy alias Sagar and gelatin stick trader Gangi Reddy to seven-year jail due to lack of evidence against them .
The court upheld the seven-year sentence of the other two accused, Ramaswamy Reddy and Nagarjuna, both gelatin stick traders.
In October 2010, the additional senior civil judge sentenced all the four to seven years in prison, but they challenged the sentence in the higher court.
Naidu, then chief minister, his ministerial colleague B. Gopalakrishna Reddy and two legislators were injured as Maoists triggered a Claymore mine blast at Alipiri in 2003, when they were on their way to the famous Hindu temple at Tirupati to make offerings to the deity.
The convoy of Naidu had come under an attack, meticulously planned by Maoists. However, the TDP chief survived with minor injuries.
Though the prosecution named 33 persons as accused in the case, only four could be arrested. Some of the accused, including top Maoist leader and prime accused Patel Sudhakar Reddy, were killed in alleged gun battles with police while others remain as yet untraced.
Sudhakar Reddy, believed to be the mastermind behind the attack on Naidu, was killed by police in an exchange of fire in Warangal district in 2009.
Indo-Asian News Service