New Delhi, Sep 02: There are reports that top naxal leader, Muppalla Laxman Rao alias Ganapati has offered to surrender. He offered to surrender to the police owing to ill-health.
Ganapati is still part of the central committee of the Maoist Party, but has not been very active and has been hiding in the forests in Chhattisgarh.
When it comes to the reward offered by the NIA, his name is right on top at Rs 15 lakh. While the reason for Ganapati's surrender could be due to health reasons, there have been a series of surrenders by naxalites over the past couple of years.
In February last year, Oggu Satwaji alias Sudhakar surrendered before the agencies. This was the second big incident after the surrender of Narasimha Reddy in 2017. In both these surrenders, it became clear that the ideology of the naxalites was fading.
The surrender of Sudhakar was an important one considering that he was pat of the central committee and politburo, the highest decision making body of the CPI (Maoist). Apart from being part of the decision making team, he was also a strategist. Sources in the Intelligence Bureau say that his surrender dealt a blow to the plan by the naxalites, who are looking to revive their activities in south.
One of the key reasons for his surrender was that he was disgruntled with the ideology of the Maoists. Several naxals have over the past few years surrendered citing a similar reason. They say that the ideology of the naxal movement has completely changed and today it is more about extortion and blackmail rather than fighting for a cause.
This came in the wake of a major change that was made in the naxal hierarchy recently when Muppala Lakshman Rao alias Ganapathy who was heading the naxalites since 2004 was replaced by Nambala Keshava Rao alias Basavaraju. Rao took over as the chief of the CPI (Maoist), which was formed in 2004, following the merger with the Peoples' War Group, CPI (Marxist-Lennist) and the Maoist Communist Centre of India.
Commenting on the developments, a senior official told OneIndia that this was in the offing since the past one year. Many had been leaving the outfit on the ground that they were unhappy with the ideology. Most had said that they were disgruntled and hence wanted to quit the outfit
Further the naxalites were also facing heavy losses in several of their bastions. Home Ministry records speak about the reduction in the geographical spread of the naxalites all these factors in fact led to a change in leadership. More importantly the naxalites decided to go with a combat man at their head and this could signal that they would look to get more aggressive.
Officials say that the change in leadership has not exactly helped their cause. Many have come forward complaining about the ideology that is being followed, while also adding that the naxals are today more driven towards money rather than the cause.
If Ganapati surrenders, it would send a strong message across the naxal ranks. Ganapati's role in the naxalite ranks is a crucial one as he headed the committees which design operational plans, which include attacks on security forces, recruitments and funding through extortions.
While the bounty offered by the NIA stands at Rs 15 lakh, the overall bounty on Ganapathy is at Rs 2.5 crore. This includes the sum offered by the states such as Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. This amount is in fact 10 times that of what has been offered for Dawood Ibrahim.
The governments of Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh have offered Rs 1 crore each to anybody providing information regarding Ganapati. In addition to this the Andhra Pradesh government has announced Rs 25 lakh, the NIA, Rs 15 lakh and the government of Jharkhand, Rs 12 lakh. The sum total stands at Rs 2.52 crore.
The top naxal leader goes by the following names: Ganapati, Mupalla Lakshman Rao, LaxmanRao, Ramanna, Shrinivas, Rajanna, Raji Reddy, Radhakrishna, GP, Chandrasekhar, Azith, CS.
He is the son of Gopal Rao, a resident of Vill- Birpur, PS & Mandal - Sarangpur, District- Karim Nagar, Telengana. There are over 100 cases registered against him in various police stations. The NIA in its summary of allegations says, "the accused entered into a criminal conspiracy to wage war against the Government of India, being members of the banned organisation Communist Party of India (Maoist).
In furtherance to their conspiracy, they collected explosive substances, prohibited arms and ammunition and a huge amount of money in a concealed manner from different parts of India, including but not limited to Kolkata and Mumbai.
He has also criminally conspired against several others around the country to send the above-mentioned items procured for assembling arms and ammunition and such ready-made purchased items to fictitious addresses at Raipur, Chhattisgarh, through different transport companies in Kolkata and Mumbai."