Funeral pyre lit by his brother amid slogans such as ‘Amar rahe Kishenji'

Thousands of mourners, including friends, admirers and family members bid a tearful goodbye to CPI (Maoist) polit bureau member Mallojula Koteshwara Rao alias Kishenji, who was killed in an “encounter” in West Bengal, in his home town of Peddapalli in Karimnagar district on Sunday, amid unprecedented deployment of police in the town.

After the body of the naxalite leader was brought to his house in Brahmanaveedhi here early in the day, hordes of people from various walks of life arrived there and paid respects to Kishenji by forming serpentine queues. Amid slogans of “Lal Salaam – Lal Salaam”, “Kishenji Amar hai,” people paid their floral tributes.

Gaddar sings

Prominent among those who visited the house and paid respects to the departed naxal leader included balladeer Gaddar, Maoist sympathiser Varavara Rao, Virasam leader Chalasani Prasad, Kalyan Rao, Peddapalli MP G. Vivekanand, TRS floor leader in the Assembly Etala Rajender, TRS legislator Koppula Eshwar, TRS legislator Odelu, MLC N Laxman Rao, CPI legislator G Mallesham, TDP local MLA, Ch. Vijayaramana Rao, MRPS leader Manda Krishna Madiga, Vimalakka and several others.

When Gaddar rendered songs hailing the supreme sacrifice of Kishenji, people started wailing and recollected the sacrifices made by him for the sake of society by living underground. The funeral procession, which started from the residence of the Maoist leader, reached the burial ground after over three hours, passing through the entire town amid tributes by the residents.

It was the last sight of her son for the mother of Kishenji, Madhuramma. She wailed inconsolably on seeing her son's dead body after 33 years. People climbed the roof-tops of buildings and came out of their house to have a last glimpse of the naxalite leader's body, which was wrapped in a red flag and placed on top of vehicle in the procession. The funeral pyre was lit by Kishenji's brother, Anjaneyulu, and his family members along with Varavara Rao, Gaddar and others amid slogans by people such as “Amar rahe Kishenji”, “Johar Amarajeevi Kishenji” and “Lal Salaam.” The district police had made unprecedented security arrangements by deploying additional police force in the town to avoid untoward incidents. They thoroughly screened visitors to the town at bus stations, railway stations and all entry points into the town.

Telangana bandh

Meanwhile, alleging that Kishenji was killed in a fake encounter, the Maoists called for two-day bandh in Telangana region on December 1 and 2. The Maoists' central committee spokesperson Abhay's statement was read out by Varavara Rao at the residence of Kishenji. Varavara Rao charged that the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal was acting in a fascist way and resorting to encounters and even forcing doctors to say that the encounter of Kishenji was a ‘real one'. Appealing to the police personnel to act according to the Constitution, he found fault with them for acting according to the diktats of governments and encouraging killing of naxalites in fake encounters.