Sympathisers, former extremists and civil liberties activists on Sunday sang revolutionary songs and paid their respects to top Maoist leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad, whose last rites were performed in Panjagutta in Hyderabad.
The body of Azad, who was killed by the police in an alleged exchange of fire in the forests of Adilabad district Friday, was brought to his brother's house in Madhapur Sunday morning from a hospital where it was kept Saturday night.
Dozens of Azad's relatives, friends and supporters paid homage to him before the body was taken to the cremation ground. Intellectuals, cultural artists and leaders of leftist groups also paid homage to Azad, who was No.2 leader and spokesman of outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist).
His mother Cherukuri Karuna, brother Cherukuri Suresh and other relatives were in tears so also Maoist sympathisers and revolutionary writers Varavara Rao, Kalyan Rao and Balladeer Gaddar.
Several others, including women, joined in paying their last respects at the cremation ground. The artists, including Gaddar, sung revolutionary songs, hailing him as "people's true leader who sacrificed his life for the cause of poor and downtrodden".
Amar, a former leader of the CPI (ML) Janashakti, leaders of other CPI-ML groups, leader of Madiga community Manda Krishna Madiga and Progressive Organisation of Women leader Sandhya were among those who paid their last respects.
Gaddar, Varavara Rao and Kalyan Rao, who acted as mediators in the peace talks between Maoists and the Andhra Pradesh government in 2005, and others addressed the gathering.