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Maoist couple accused of killing dozens arrested in Gadchiroli

Police said the couple were involved in several ambushes that killed several policemen and had murdered several villagers.

india Updated: Jun 12, 2019 19:22 IST
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Hindustan Times, Nagpur
Maoists,Gadchiroli,Maharashtra Police
The arrest of the two top leaders are a major blow to the Maoists in Gadchiroli in Maharashtra after they lost 45 cadres in an encounter last ear.(FILE PHOTO)

A court in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli on Wednesday sent two top Maoist leaders, Kiran Kumar and his wife Narmadakka suspected to be involved in dozens of killings, to seven days of police custody after they were arrested Monday evening.

“The district police arrested both the red rebels on Monday evening with the help of Telangana police near a bus stand in Sironcha in south Gadchiroli when they tried to go to a hospital at Gadchiroli for treatment,” Shailesh Balkawde, Gadchiroli’s superintendent of police.

Balkawde said that over 65 offences were registered against Narmadakka in the district, including killing of police personnel and murders of innocent villagers after branding them police informers.

The police who had kept the arrest a secret until the two were produced in court, claimed that the capture of the two was the biggest blow to the CPI (Maoist) in Gadchiroil after the death of 45 cadres in an encounter last year.

Police said Alluri Krishna Kumari (58), better known as Narmadakka hailed from Kodapawnuru village in Krishna district of Telangana. She is said to be proficient in seven languages including English. She dropped out the college and joined the CPI (Maoist) at the of 18, and has spent over three and a half decades in the jungles as a Maoist. Her father, Alluri Bhujanga Rao left a lasting influence on her. Her sister, A Aruna Kumari, is also a Maoist.

Narmadakka was the first woman Maoist to be given independent charge of a divisional committee. After taking over reins of Gadchiroli unit about 10 years ago, she set up five different platoons in her territory equipped with modern weapons and latest communication network to counter the state machinery.

Police said she led the Laheri encounter in south Gadchiroli in October, 2009 in which 17 policemen were killed. She was also credited with recruiting young women into CPI (Maoist) ranks. She was the second woman to be selected as a member of the Central Committee Central Committee of CPI (Maoist) after Anuradha Ghandy.

The Chhattisgarh and Gadchiroli police had earlier suspected that Narmadakka was killed in an encounter near Hidur in Gadchiroli district, a few years ago. She was believed to have been buried at village Malwada in Kanker district of Chhattisgarh.

Police said Narmadakka is suspected to be suffering from some kind of cancer and had undergone chemotherapy. She had become too frail and weak to walk by herself in the past few months and has not been very active in the movement since 2018.

Her husband B Sudhakar alias Kiran Kumar (70) is a central committee member and in-charge of its publication division and editor of “Prabhat” -- a banned mouthpiece of the organisation. He was also the in-charge of Gadchiroli unit of the CPI (Maoist).

Police described him as a tech expert. A native of Narendrapuram in east Godavari district of Telangana, he was a member of Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee (DKSZC).

“He is believed to have been involved in the killing of 16 people including 15 policemen in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast in Gadchiroli district on May 1 this year,” said Balkawde.

Kiran was allegedly also involved in the killing of BJP MLA Bheema Mandavi and four security personnel at Dantewada in Chhattisgarh on April 9, two days ahead of the first phase of general elections.

First Published: Jun 12, 2019 19:22 IST