New Maoist boss Basavraj a BTech, explosives expert, trained by LTTE: Report

One of the most elusive among India’s Maoist leaders, the 64-year-old carries an AK-47, according to a 2011 Intelligence Bureau (IB) report.

india Updated: Nov 29, 2018 20:28 IST
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times
LTTE,CPM,National Investigation Agency
The file picture shows a gathering of Maoists during the CPI (Maoist)’s Ninth Congress in an undisclosed place in Chhattisgarh.(PTi File Photo)

Nambala Keshav Rao, alias Basavaraju, is the new general secretary of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), who has been part of the Naxalite movement since the 1970s.

One of the most elusive among India’s Maoist leaders, the 64-year-old carries an AK-47, according to a 2011 Intelligence Bureau (IB) report.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has announced a reward of Rs 1.5 million for information leading to him. Rewards have been announced by the governments of Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as well.

A resident of Jiyannapeta village, within the jurisdiction of Mandalam-Kotabommali police station in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh, Basavaraju holds a BTech degree from the Regional Engineering College, Warrangal.

He is also known by the aliases of Ganganna, Prakash, Krishna, Vijay, Darapu Narasimha Reddy and Narasimha.

Police have no recent photograph of him.

Earlier, they had also found that Basavaraju owned no property in his name in his native village, which he left in the late 1970s.

“Basavaraju’s primary areas of activity have been Chhattisgarh, parts of today’s Telangana and parts of Maharashtra. He is also a member of the CPI (Maoist)’s central regional bureau,” said a senior IPS officer based in Jharkhand, who tracks Maoists.

Dark horse

According to information culled from Maoist party literature over the years, he was one of the key organisers, when the Communist Party of India Marxist-Leninist People’s War (CPMLPW), was formed in Andhra Pradesh in 1980.

In 1987, Basavaraju, along with the likes of Ganapathy, Mallojula Koteswara Rao alias Kishanji (killed in 2011), Mallojula Venugopal Rao alias Sonu and Malla Raji Reddy, reportedly underwent training in the forests of Bastar from a group of former fighters of the Sri Lankan Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in ambush tactics and the handling of gelatin.

In 1992, he was elected a member of the central committee of the erstwhile Communist Party of India Marxist-Leninist People’s War, when Ganapathy became its general secretary.

earlier posts

In 2004, when the CPI(Maoist) was formed through the merger of Communist Party of India Marxist-Leninist People’s War and Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCCI), Basavaraju was made the secretary of the central military commission of the new outfit.

“Basavaraju has been managing the tasks of the general secretary for about a year. The change has been made public now, only after responsibilities were formally shifted from Ganapathy to him. Ganapathy will continue as a member of the central committee,” a Maoist functionary, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added.

In an article published in the party’s theoretical organ “People’s War” in 2013, Basavaraju had provided a roadmap for the revolution they plan to lead: “If we can mobilise the peasantry on a vast scale and militantly into an armed agrarian revolution to completely solve the land issue in our country, we will acquire the most essential basic condition and preconditions to defeat all our enemies and complete the New Democratic Revolution.”

First Published: Nov 29, 2018 08:29 IST