Communist Party of India-Maoist Central Committee member and in-charge of Haryana, Lanka Venkata Papi Reddy alias Ranganna alias Latchanna, surrendered before Andhra Pradesh Home Minister K Jana Reddy in Hyderabad on Saturday.
Speaking to newsmen, Papi Reddy, 47, said that he decided to surrender and join the 'mainstream of public life' due to his failing health. He carries a reward of Rs 12 lakh on his head. Apart from the reward amount, the Home Minister has promised him a rehabilitation package.
The government will also examine the possibility of withdrawing the cases filed against him.
Papi Reddy was wanted by the police forces of Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Bihar and Jharkhand. Hailing from Takkellapadu village in Atmakur mandal in Warangal district, he joined the Maoist movement in 1980-82.
After going underground, he worked for the party in various capacities. He worked as deputy commander in the Bastar area in 1983 and was promoted to the position of commander in 1985. He was promoted and shifted to Warangal as a district committee member in 1987. He was made district committee secretary in 1989.
Papi Reddy worked as the secretary of Mulug area committee, a member of North Telangana Forest Division Committee and squad commander of Warangal district committee up to 1990.
In 1999, he was shifted back to Bastar forest division of Gadchiroli, Balaghat and Bastar south division to strengthen the party there. In December 2001, he became a central committee member and worked as secretary of Dandakaranya special zonal committee for a long time.
During 2001-03, he developed the Maoist base in Chattisgarh state. After the state-sponsored tribal movement Salwa Judum came into existence in Bastar region three years ago, the Maoist party strategically shifted him to Bihar and made him in-charge of the state party unit. A few weeks ago, he was made the in-charge of Haryana state.
Approximately 45 criminal cases have been registered against him in the four states. Papi Reddy married Saroja in Bastar in 1991. Saroja, who joined the Maoist movement in 1990, is working in the Ahiri forest in Maharashtra.
In 2000, Papi Reddy sent his daughter Lanka Tejasri to Takkellapadu to stay with her grandparents. During the counseling of family members of underground cadres, on the request of Tejasri's grandmother Lakshmikantamma, Warangal district Superintendent of Police Soumya Mishra adopted her on the occasion of Children's Day on November 14, 2006.
Owing to his deteriorating health, Papi Reddy sent a message to the AP police, expressing his desire to surrender. "I have decided to surrender on my own, due to my health problems. There was no pressure on me from anyone to surrender," he said.
The Home Minister appealed to all the underground Maoists to surrender and join the mainstream to develop the state and work for the people.
"Today is a Red Letter Day," he quipped, referring to Papi Reddy's surrender and pointed out that the government was offering an attractive rehabilitation package to surrendered Maoists. He said that 95 percent of the surrendered Maoists had been successfully rehabilitated so far.