Cream of Maoist movement hails from AndhraNovember 25th, 2011 - 4:22 pm ICT by IANS
Hyderabad, Nov 25 (IANS) Maoists may no longer be active in Andhra Pradesh but the cream of their leadership comes from this southern state.
The killing of Mallojula Koteshwara Rao alias Kishanji in West Bengal Thursday has dealt a huge blow to the Maoist movement and also highlighted the key role played by cadres from Andhra Pradesh.
Carrying a reward of Rs.19 lakh on his head, Kishanji was considered a key leader of Communist Party of India-Maoist, next only to its chief Muppala Laxmana Rao alias Ganapathi and N. Keshava Rao, both from the state.
One of the first generation leaders of Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) People’s War, popularly called People’s War Group, Kishanji was both an ideologue and military strategist who played a major role in building the movement in various states, more recently in West Bengal.
Hailing from Karimnagar district of Telangana region, once a Maoist bastion, he took part in the movement for 35 years. He was a politburo member of CPI-Maoist and headed the outfit in West Bengal.
Majority of the politburo members of CPI-Maoist are from Andhra Pradesh, the birthplace of PWG, which merged with the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) in 2004 to bring the movement under one umbrella.
Police officers engaged in anti-Maoist operations in Andhra Pradesh point out that despite the merger with MCC, which was active in Bihar, Jharkhand and some northern states, guerrillas from Andhra continue to dominate the new outfit.
They attribute this to the strong ideology of the leaders and their expertise in guerrilla war.
“At one time, 18 of the 21 politburo members were from Andhra Pradesh,” a police official told IANS.
The movement has received huge setbacks in the last five years. After losing the entire top leadership in Andhra due to the sustained pressure by police, especially the elite anti-Maoist force Greyhounds, the armed cadre moved to other states.
Andhra Pradesh police chief V. Dinesh Reddy recently said the Maoists once had 3,000 cadres in the state.
The number has dwindled to 340. “Of them, 200 are outside the state and 140 are on the borders with other states (Orissa, Chhattisgarh),” he said.
Greyhounds, with their expertise in anti-Maoist operations, became a role model for the entire country. Other states sought Andhra’s help in battling the Maoists.
The Andhra Pradesh Police said last month that it would extend technical and strategic assistance to the West Bengal Police.
Since Kishanji hailed from Andhra Pradesh, the state provided all the information about him and other top Maoists to West Bengal.
Maoist sympathisers allege that the state intelligence helped other states in killing or arresting top leaders. They also accuse the state police of targeting top leaders.
They allege that Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad, who was then the third ranking leader, was killed by police in a stage-managed gun battle. Azad, who also hailed from Andhra, was killed in Adilabad district last year.
Like Kishanji, Ganapathi also comes from Karimnagar district and carries a reward of Rs.24 lakh on his head.
Kishanji’s brother M. Venugopala Rao is a central committee member and is believed to be active in the Andhra-Orissa border area. The police have kept a reward of Rs.19 lakh on him.
The second-in-command, Keshava Rao, also carries a reward of Rs.19 lakh.
CPI-Maoist politburo members Kattam Sudarshan and Mallarajji Reddy are also from Andhra Pradesh. Eight politburo members, including Kobad Gandhi, Narayan Sanyal and Amitabh Bagchi, are in various jails.
(Mohammed Shafeeq can be contacted at email@example.com)
- States on high alert after Kishanji killing (Roundup) - Nov 25, 2011
- Kishanji: The media-savvy cold-blooded rebel (Profile) - Nov 25, 2011
- Andhra on high alert after Kishanji's killing - Nov 25, 2011
- Andhra ready to help Bengal in tackling Maoists - Oct 20, 2011
- Kishanji's ailing mother breaks down (Lead) - Nov 25, 2011
- Suspected Maoists kill two tribal youth in Andhra - Nov 27, 2011
- Top Maoist Kishanji killed in West Bengal (Night Lead) - Nov 24, 2011
- Kishanji's niece flying to Kolkata to identify body - Nov 25, 2011
- Kishenji's family wants his body for last rites - Nov 25, 2011
- Maoist strategist held in Bengal (Lead) - Jul 17, 2012
- Chhattisgarh on high alert after Kishanji's killing - Nov 25, 2011
- Kishanji murdered in police custody: Varvara Rao - Nov 25, 2011
- Kishanji's death big loss but movement will continue: Varavara Rao - Nov 25, 2011
- Top Maoist Kishanji killed in West Bengal (Intro Night Lead) - Nov 25, 2011
- Maoist strategist held in Bengal (Third Lead) - Jul 17, 2012
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