The East Godavari police in Andhra Pradesh on Saturday said that they arrested two former students of University of Hyderabad (UoH) and foiled a plot to kill varsity Vice-Chancellor Podile Apparao.
The accused were identified as 27-year-old Ankala Prudhviraj, an Andhra Pradesh native and 28-year-old Chandan Kumar Misra, a native of West Bengal.
The police said that the accused were arrested at Pitchukalapadu Junction on the Bhadrachalam-Cherla Road and added that they were on their way to allegedly execute the assassination on the directions of top CPI(Maoist) leaders Haribhushan alias Yapa Narayana, who is the Telangana State Committee Secretary, and Chandranna, a Central Committee Member.
According to a police press release, Prudhviraj was pursuing his 4th year of LLB in Siddhartha Law College in Vijayawada and had pursued a degree course in UoH from 2010 to 2013. The police said that he was a member of Telangana Vidyarthi Vedika (TVV) and decided to join the Maoists after learning about the ideology.
In March 2013, the police said that he met a Maoist leader named Sukhadev and travelled with him for two months in Telangana. At this time, he was informed about the illness of Chandrannaâ€™s wife. As he was taking her to Khammam for treatment, he was arrested by the Palwancha police and sent to the Central Jail in Warangal. He decided to work for the Maoist party again, after he was granted bail, the police said.
On the other hand, Chandan Kumar Mishra, a native of Howrah joined UoH in 2013 for his Post-Graduation studies. The police said that he had a habit of reading Maoist ideology and was a member of two student groups. In 2016, he met Prudhviraj and decided to work for the banned outfit.
The police said that Chandan went to Ludhiana in Punjab to meet one Amul Singh, an activist, and a former classmate, who happened to also be influenced by the Maoist ideology.
In December last year, the accused met with top Maoist leader Haribhushan in the area near Cherla, through one person, who was an activist with the TVV, and informed him that they wanted to work for the Maoist party, the police said.
In January this year, the duo met Haribhushan in the forest area between Cherala and Venkatapuram through a Maoist courier, where the top Maoist leader explained the â€śprinciples, terms and conditionsâ€ť of the party, and requested them to recruit more students into their folds, the press release states.
â€śDuring this, they discussed the suicide of Rohith Vemula in UoH and the repercussions of that incident. As VC Apparao was antagonised, the duo claimed that many students would join the party if he was killed, following which Haribhushan said that a plan would be hatched at the appropriate time,â€ť the release adds.
The police said that Chandan met with Haribhushan again at a later date, where he was handed some letter heads belonging to Maoists with instructions to drop them after murdering the VC. Haribhushan also told Chandan that he would ensure a better rank in the Maoist party after assassinating the VC, the police added.
Following a tip-off, the police arrested the duo.
Speaking to TNM, Superintendent of Police, East Godavari, Vishal Gunni, said, â€śThe duo has been booked under Section 120b (Criminal Conspiracy) and relevant sections of the Arms Act. They have been sent to judicial remand.â€ť