Hyderabad: A court in Andhra Pradesh Wednesday sentenced 21 people to life imprisonment for the sensational killing of a politician dubbed a "warlord" and 10 others six years ago.
A Sessions Court at Adoni town in Kurnool district delivered the judgement in the case relating to the murder of Kappatralla Venkatappa Naidu, who was also a leader of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), and 10 others.
The public prosecutor told reporters outside the court premises that three of the convicts have died. A key accused is absconding but the court had separated his case.
Police had chargesheeted 48 people in the case. Four of them were killed in retaliation by the followers of Naidu. Three accused died in jail due to ill health.
Naidu, his nephew and others were hacked to death near Kodumuru in Kurnool district May 17, 2008 when they were returning after appearing in a court in connection with a murder trial.
The killers rammed an empty truck at high speed into the jeep in which they were travelling. Others waiting at the spot hurled bombs and attacked the stunned victims with sickles.
Naidu, 63, was an accused in several cases. He had survived 12 attempts on his life by rival factions during the last four decades.
Kurnool district is a part of Rayalaeema region, notorious for factional violence which have claimed several lives.
Groups loyal to the TDP and the Congress party, fighting for supremacy in the villages, resort to brutal killings of rivals.