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Andhra 'rocketman' surrenders

The kingpin behind the procurement and supply of rockets to Maoists surrenders, reports Ashok Das.

india Updated: Oct 18, 2006 04:21 IST
Ashok Das
Ashok Das

Srinivas Reddy, alias Raghu, alias Tech Madhu — the kingpin behind the procurement and supply of rockets to Maoists — surrendered before the Warangal police on Tuesday.

Reddy, who heads the technical wing of the Andhra Pradesh state committee of the CPI-Maoist, surrendered along with his wife Sudharani, alias Vasantha, before Warangal Superintendent of Police Soumya Mishra. The two were to be produced before a magistrate later on Tuesday.

Tech Madhu has been on the run ever since the seizure of 875 rocket shells, launchers and other ammunition — meant to be delivered to Maoist hideouts in the Nallamalla forests — from the godowns of a transport company in Mahbubnagar and Prakasam on September 8. On Tuesday, the police recovered 15 landmines from the Vijayawada godown of the same company.

Preliminary investigations by the Andhra and Chennai police into the largest haul of rocket shells in the country indicated that three consignments consisting of 149 gunny bags and weighting 5,120 kilograms had been sent from Tamil Nadu to Andhra Pradesh since August 2005.

Tamil Nadu’s Q Branch and the Andhra police’s Special Investigation Team found Tech Madhu had masterminded a major arms procurement network for Maoists in Chennai. With his technical expertise, he had coordinated with seven foundries — including his own, Bharath Fine Engineering in Ambattur near Chennai — to manufacture spare parts to assemble 1,000 rocket shells and launchers over the last three years.

Madhu, along with Vasanta, also a technical expert, were staying in a house in Korattur, a suburb of Chennai. The day after the arms haul, they fled Chennai. The city police raided their residence and manufacturing units and sealed them on September 15, arresting seven persons in the process. The Q Branch also seized a diary belonging to Tech Madhu where he had indicated that he was contemplating giving himself up and had even convinced his wife.

First Published: Oct 18, 2006 04:21 IST