Monday, June 22, 2009

Lalgarh Maoist had spent time in Nagpur

22 Jun 2009, 0241 hrs IST, Soumittra S Bose, TNN


NAGPUR: Maoist master tactician Mullajola Koteshwar Rao, alias Kishanji, who spearheaded the Naxalite insurgency in Lalgarh throwing West Bengal
government off track, had spent several years working for the rebels in city and in Gadchiroli, sources here claimed.

Rao, along with Chhatradhar Mahato of People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities, had established a ‘liberated’ zone in Lalgarh until state police aided by central paramilitary forces reclaimed it. Rao, along with his wife Sujata, had created much impact in Vidarbha region in the late 80s and early 90s. Rao, a Brahmin scholar of philosophy, had a charismatic personality and could attract cadres into the movement.

His wife Sujata too matched him step for step. She worked for various dalams in Gadchiroli in the early 90s and is now active in South Bastar as a member of Dandakaranya special zonal committee. Sources in the police department recalled that Rao, who has turned nightmare for West Bengal government, was a regular at a Udipi eatery in the city on Wardha Road where he met his comrades.

Sources claimed that he had created dens and smuggled arms and ammunitions for Naxals of the area. Sources in Gadchiroli claimed that Rao, following tradition of Naxal movement, was known as Ramji while working among the tribal-population in the district. Rao worked in the entire district but his activities mostly revolved around Etapalli.

“The Naxal base that he had created more than a decade ago in Eetapalli is still considered a guerrilla stronghold,” said an official. Sujata, said a source, was known as Jhansibai while leading the Deori dalam. She was known as Mainibai while working in Bhamragarh and Perimili dalam, said the source. Rao and his wife worked for almost a decade in Vidarbha before fleeing following police crackdown.

Rao’s brother Bhupati, a central committee member, is active in Dandakaranya and is learnt to be supervising the military wing. Bhupati’s wife Tarakka is active in Gadchiroli.

Rao had also become part of the forest committee working in city, Wardha, Amravati, Akola, Durg and Rajnandgaon. The experienced leader was later shifted to North-east and co-ordinate his work with the activities in northern India. After the merger of People’s War Group (PWG) and Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCC) in 2004, the newly formed Communist Party of India- Maoist entrusted Rao to spearhead the movement in West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar.

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