Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Picked up chatter fails to confirm buzz on top veteran naxal leader Ganpathi’s surrender

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It all began with intercept of a conversation on Tuesday morning between Maoists’ "Maad division headquarter operator Hunga" and an "unknown source" from Maharashtra.

New Delhi: For the last few days, the security and intelligence agencies have been abuzz with news that veteran top Maoist leader Muppala Lakshman Rao, alias Ganapathi, is expected to surrender anytime and, probably, in Telangana.

But, the information central security agencies have gathered from the latest chatter among Maoist leaders suggest that there is confusion even among Red ultras over which Ganapathi has been either "arrested" or " surrendered". Is it the senior leader or someone else by the same name in the armed militia?

It all began with intercept of a conversation on Tuesday morning between Maoists’ "Maad division headquarter operator Hunga" and an "unknown source" from Maharashtra.

Maad is an acronym naxalites use for Abujhmad area -- a hotbed of Maoists which is spread over parts of Dantewada and Bijapur districts of Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district.

"Hunga told him that he has been hearing that Ganapathi has been arrested and sought a confirmation of the information. To that the unknown person replied that Jaipur (some coded word) might know about it," security officials said while repeating eavesdropped conversation among the Maoists.

In the evening again a conversation was snooped by security agencies. "Hunga told that unknown source that a firing took place in Kansur border in which a DCM (deputy commander) by the name of Indira was killed and he belongs to Makranar village, and another was injured," security officials quoted above narrated to ET.

"Hunga said that Ganapathi has surrendered," they pointed out about the picked up conversation. The security and intelligence agencies are trying to verify the authenticity of the eavesdropped information.

From Tuesday morning the buzz gathered more noise with information, being attributed to sources in Telangana police, gaining ground that Ganapathi, who is a Maoist central committee member, has expressed his willingness to drop his gun and come out of the jungle hideout to lead a normal life provided his conditions are accepted.

Telangana DGP M Mahender Reddy, however, is reported to have refused to comment on the issue. Though, sources in Telangana police said they have learnt about it from their Maharashtra counterparts.

Ganapathy, 74, is the most wanted naxalite carrying maximum reward of about Rs 3 crore and has been ailing for quite some time now. Ganpathi, insist internal security experts, has lost his utility for maoists which was reflected when Nambala Keshav Rao alias Basavraj, who is more dreaded, took over as the general secretary of proscribed CPI (Maoist) from him towards the end of 2018.

A security agency official involved in counter-naxal operations told ET that the possibility of Ganapathy surrendering appears remote because he will have to spend rest of his life behind the bars since large number of cases against him is not just confined to one state but centre's anti-terror outfit National Investigation Agency is also chasing him for their probe into 2010 killing of 76 CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh

Ganapathi is from Jagityal district of Telangana. He was a science graduate and was teaching before joining the rebels Party in the late 70s. He was close associate of PWG founder late Kondapalli Sitaramaiah.

Ganapathi had played important role in formation of the CPI (Maoists) party with the merger of CPI ML (People's War Group or PWG) and MCCI (Maoist Communist Centre of India) in 2004.

The Telangana police have increased the focus on the activities of the Maoist Party for the last few months, following the information about the efforts to infuse new blood into the Party. In 2010, the party's Central committee strength fell down from original 39 to below 15. Some surrendered, some were arrested and a few others


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