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Home > News > Report

Prized Naxal catch by AP cops in Kerala

Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad | December 18, 2007 15:17 IST

Top Communist Party of India-Maoist leader and Central Committee member Malla Raji Reddy alias Sattanna -- who carries a reward of Rs 12 lakh on his head -- has been reportedly arrested by a special police party from Andhra Pradesh from a hide-out in Kerala [Images] late on Monday night.

Though Andhra Pradesh police has not confirmed the arrest of Sattanna so far, Revolutionary Writer Association founder Varavara Rao alleged that the Maoist leader was taken into custody by a special police party from Angamaly in Ernakulam district in Kerala on a specific tip-off that he was hiding among migrant labourers. A tribal woman, who was suspected to be assisting him in underground activities, was also arrested by the police.

Demanding that AP police produce Sattanna in a court of law immediately, Varavara Rao told the media that he feared a threat to the life of the central committee member, since there were instances earlier when Maoist leaders who were picked up AP police were killed in fake encounters. Three central committee members of CPI-ML (People's War) were nabbed from Bangalore and later killed in a fake encounter in December 1999. Two other central committee members were arrested and shot dead in fake encounters.

"We fear that the same would happen in the case of Raji Reddy. We have reliable information about the arrest of Raji Reddy along with a woman in Ernakulam. A lot of people who were witness to the arrest had also gone to the police station. Raji Reddy should be produced in the court immediately," Varavara Rao said.

Hailing from Shastrulapalli village in Manthani area of Karimnagar district in Andhra Pradesh, Sattanna has been underground for the past 32 years. He worked in his native district before donning higher responsibilities in the Naxalite movement. He is wanted for a number of cases, including murders, abductions, landmine blasts and attacks on police stations and looting of weapons. He is a suspect behind the killing of former AP Assembly speaker D Sripada Rao.