Katari Anuradha the mayor of Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, was shot and stabbed to death by three men wearing burkhas. Her husband who was with her was also shot at and stabbed and is in critical condition.
The killers fled the scene after the attack, though reports say two people later handed themselves in to the police. A motive has yet to be established.
Security has consequently been tightened in Chittoor and state police are closing the borders with Tamil Nadu in an attempt to find the killers. Police officials said they are exploring all angles, including an old rivalry and new enemies.