Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Top Maoist leader held in Chennai

Special Correspondent

ONGOLE: A top Maoist leader, Panduranga Reddy alias Sagar alias Pratap, operating in Nallamala forest of Prakasam district, was arrested in Chennai on Wednesday.

Confirming the arrest, Superintendent of Police Mr. Naveen Chand said Sagar would be produced in a court on Thursday.

Acting on some vital clues, Special Intelligence Bureau (SIB) officials reportedly laid the trap and arrested him in Chennai in the morning. Local police, however, said that they have no information about the arrest in Chennai.

According to reliable information available here, SIB officials arrested two persons at Kandukur Tuesday night, and got the information that led to the arrest of Sagar in Chennai. Interestingly, P. Srisailam, one of the two persons arrested at Kandukur was an electronic media journalist from Hyderabad.

Sagar (45), who hails from Lakshmipuram village of Ardhaveedu mandal in Prakasam district, joined the extremist movement some 15 years ago. He rose to become Secretary of Nallamala Forest Divisional Committee (NFDC) operating in Prakasam district. He played a key role in almost all incidents that took place in the district like murders, destruction of property etc. After Maoists blasted a landmine in the heart of Ongole town targeting the then SP Mahesh Chandra Laddha in 2005, police tightened the leash on the extremist movement.

In quick succession, all the five leaders who participated in the landmine blast, were killed by police in different encounters.

The entire family of Sagar was dedicated to the movement. His mother, Lakshmamma was killed by police in an encounter. His sister, Bhulakshmi, was also a dalam member. While police state that she ran away with huge cash, Maoists claim that she was also killed in an encounter. His another sister, Ramulamma alias Padma, is still active in the movement and works as NFDC district committee member.

Meanwhile, the police have arrested the journalist and booked a case against him under the Public Security Act.

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