The National Investigation Agency recently released its 'most wanted list' with as many as 258 names, which included several members of militant outfit CPI (Maoist) party on charges such as waging war on the Indian government, carrying out armed ambushes, and involving in unlawful activities.
While the list points to the presence of Maoists in several states, it also shows the emergence of the Maoist leaders from Telugu soil. Andhra and Telangana are said to have one of the biggest units of the outlawed organisation in the country. In fact, several Maoists from Andhra and Telangana are wanted with a Rs 10 to 15 lakh bounty on them.
CPI Maoist Party General Secretary Ganapathy (69) whose word has currency in as many as 15 Indian states, is on the list. Ganapathy is a science graduate from Birpur of Sarangpur in Telangana's Karimnagar. Often called Muppala Laxman Rao, or Raji Reddy in the party, Ganapathy has a Rs 15 lakh bounty on his head.
Before joining into the armed People's War Group (PWG) with the influence of Kondapalli Seetharamaiah and Nalla Adireddy, Ganapathy reportedly worked as the school teacher. Later, he grew to his present position in CPI (Maoist) Party following a merger of PWG and the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) in 2004.
The NIA list also has the name of less known Nambala Keshava Rao alias Basavaraj, who is believed to be a potential successor to the General Secretary post of the Maoist party.
The party has three crucial wings, namely, the Central Committee (CC), the Polit Bureau (PB), and the Central Military Commission (CMC). While CC and PB are being headed by Ganapathy, the military wing is being headed by Nambala Keshava Rao aka Gaganna. According to the NIA, Nambala is from Jiyannapet of Kotabommali of Andhra's Srikakulam district.
Some reports suggest that Nambala had to take charge of the party given the health issues of party supremo Ganapathy. Nambala has a Rs 10 lakh bounty on him.
Tippiri Tirupati alias Deoji has also been named in the NIA list, with a bounty of Rs 10 lakh. Tippiri Tirupati is said to be a Central Committee member in the Maoist party.
Tippiri Tirupati hails from Korutla town of united Karimnagar district; the district is known for producing several top Maoist leaders, including its current General Secretary Ganapathy, and Nalla Adireddy and Seelam Naresh – two CC members who were killed in an encounter in 1999. He was reportedly a part of the CC meeting of the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee in 2009, where the decision was taken to start the Buniyadi Communist Training School (BCTS) – a military training centre for new recruits.
Another name on the list is party ideologue and Central Committee member Akkiraju Hargopal, popularly known as RK, who hails from Rentachintala of the Guntur in Andhra Pradesh. RK played a key role during the peace dialogues between the then YS Rajashekar Reddy government and Maoists. RK is believed to have escaped from Odisha’s Ramguda encounter in October 2016, where his son, 25-year-old Munna, was killed. Earlier this year in February, RK reportedly managed to escape from a Maoist camp that was busted by AP greyhounds and Special Operation Groups of Odisha police.
Other names on the NIA list from Andhra and Telangana include Garjala Ravi, said to be the secretary of the Andhra-Odisha border (AOB) Special Zonal Committee; Madhavi from Warangal district; Paka Hanumanthu from Nalgonda district; Dubasi Shankar from Medak district; Jalamuru Venkateswarlu and Jalumuri Srinubabu from East Godavari; Boddu Kundanalu and Deve Podiyami from Srikakulam; and others.
On September 23, Maoists in the Andhra-Odisha border killed Araku MLA Kidari Someshwar Rao and former MLA Siveri Soma, belonging to Andhra's ruling TDP. The Visakhapatnam police recently arrested four persons for helping the Maoists for assassinating the leaders. Police have stepped up security to politicians taking the incident into the cognizance.