Notorious Maoist leader arrested in AP, many surrender


Amaravati: A notorious leader of the outlawed CPI (Maoist), who carried a reward of Rs 5 lakh on his head, was arrested in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday with a cash of Rs 39 lakh in hand, besides weapons and explosives.

Visakhapatnam Range Deputy Inspector General of Police S Hari Krishna told reporters that 35-year-old Vanthala Ramakrishna, who went by several aliases, was the area committee secretary of Maoist Pedabayalu-Korukonda area in Alluri Sitarama Raju district.

Ramakrishna was involved in a total of 124 cases, including 14 murders and 13 exchanges of fire, explosion of landmines and arson.

He joined the CPI (Maoist) as a militia member and rose to the rank of area committee secretary, the DIG said.

Ramakrishna was involved in the murder of then TDP MLA Kidari Sarveswara Rao and former MLA Siveri Soma in Araku in 2017.

He moved along in Malkangiri, Koraput (both in Odisha) and East Godavari and Alluri Sitarama Raju districts that fell under the Andhra-Odisha Special Zonal Committee and recruited several militia members. He held praja courts and threatened people and also killed innocent tribals, branding them as police informers, Hari Krishna added.

Apart from Rs 39 lakh in cash, a 5-kg landmine, five detonators, batteries, a 9-mm pistol and ammunition were seized from the arrested Maoist.

The DIG said 33 CPI (Maoist) members and 27 militia members, including eight women, surrendered before the police at Paderu.

These persons, belonging to the tribal communities, joined the banned outfit due to coercion and threats. Some of them were involved in crimes like triggering landmines targeting the police personnel and setting road-laying machinery and cellular phone towers on fire. Some militia members resorted to arson and destroyed public and private properties, the DIG said.

Awareness programmes conducted by the police on the various development initiatives undertaken by the government spurred them to give themselves up and join the mainstream, Hari Krishna added.

Superintendent of Police S Satish Kumar and other senior police officials were present.