A group of four activists from Andhra Pradesh led by revolutionary writer Vara Vara Rao left for Kolkata on Friday morning to bring home the body of the senior Maoist leader Mallojula Koteshwara Rao alias Kishenji, who was killed in an alleged encounter in West Bengal on Thursday.
The group, including Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee Secretary C Chandrashekhar, Padma Kumari, Secretary, Amarula Bandhu Mitrulu Sangham (Martyrs Relatives and Friends Association) and Deepa, niece of Kishenji.
"We will approach the high court for a fresh post-mortem in Kolkata and bring the body to his home town Peddapally, Karimnagar district for last rites," said Rao.
The body is being kept in the Midnapore hospital mortuary. "It will take some time to complete the formalities and get the body handed over to the family members," said another activist.
"This is nothing but a fake encounter, an inhuman act. He was taken in to custody by the police during the search operation a day earlier," alleged Rao.
He pointed out that Kishenji was not keeping well and was hearing impaired. Rao alleged that after taking him in to custody, the West Bengal police spread rumours that he had managed to flee.
Lashing out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerji, he said that the incident had exposed her real face.
"After asking the Maoists to join the so-called mainstream and making them declare a ceasefire, her government has now resorted to this," he said.
Deepa said that she wanted to see the body of her uncle. "I had seen him when I was a child but I will be able to identify him", she said.
The news of Kishenji's death in an encounter has left his family members including his mother Madhuramma shocked.
After hearing the news over the TV, Madhuramma broke down. Kishenji was one of her three sons. While Kishenji and another son Venugopal Rao were the central committee members of the Communist Party of India-Maoist, another son Anjaneyulu is a cooperative bank employee in Peddapally town, where several members of the family reside.
Kishenji, who belongs to Karimnagar district had dropped out of law course and joined the Radical Students Union during the Emergency in 1975.
He was among the prominent leaders of the People's War Group and in the forefront of its campaign against landlords. After holding important positions of the Karimnagar district committee and State committee secretary, Kishenji went on to become the third most important leaders of the Maoist organisation in the country.
He had become its central committee member in 1989 and worked in different parts of the country including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and finally West Bengal. For the last few years he was active in West Bengal and Jharkhand.
In Andhra Pradesh, where he had 14 cases booked against him, he carried a reward of Rs 12 lakh on his head. He was also an accused in the murder of the former Speaker of AP Assembly, D Sripada Rao in Karimnagar district in 1999.
Kishenji's death was a massive blow to CPI-M as he was holding the number three position in the part politburo after the supremo Muppal Lakshman Rao alias Ganapathy and N Keshav Rao.