A deputy commander for maintenance, Gangiah was one among the six naxalites killed in an encounter with greyhound police near Visakhapatnam
Peddapalli: A pall of gloom descended on Gudem village in Odela mandal following the death of Maoist leader Sande Gangaiah alias Ashok, a native of the village, who was killed in an encounter in Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday.
A deputy commander for maintenance Gangiah was one among the six naxalities killed in an encounter with greyhound police near Thigametta, Koyyuru mandal of Vishakapatnam district.
Family members of the slain Maoist leader broke down on hearing about the encounter death of Gangaiah, second son of Amruthamma and Ramaswamy. He joined the extremist party in 1999 and worked in different cadres. Gangaiah is the younger brother of slain Maoist central committee member Sande Rajamouli alias Prasad, who was killed in an encounter in Anathapur in 2007. Their cousin and Moist party leader Sande Rajaiah was also killed in an encounter near Odela hillocks in 1996.
Gangiah studied up to Class VII in Godavarikhani area where his father worked in Singareni coal mines. After shifting to Gudem, he practiced agriculture for some time. Later, he joined the extremist movement. He has two younger brothers, Prabhakar and Mahender. While Prabhakar works in Singareni coal mines, Mahender lives in Gudem village.
Family members said Gangaiah left home 21 years ago and never came back despite their appeals to give up arms and join the social mainstream.