The Dandakarnya Special Zonal Committee (DKSZC) of the outlawed CPI-Maoist has condemned the death on Saturday of activist and Ganti Prasada Rao alias Prasadam (60), and blamed the Andhra Pradesh government for what the rebels called an “organised assassination.”

Claiming that Prasadam was assassinated in a planned manner, the statement signed by DKSZC spokesperson Gudsa Usendi said that “ … the State [Andhra Pradesh] is threatening all those forces who are raising their voice, agitating and fighting against its anti-people and oppressive policies.”

Prasadam was critically injured following an attack near a Nellore hospital on Thursday. He died of a deep knife wound early on Saturday morning.

Prasadam joined the Srikakulam Girijan Armed Peasant Struggle and started working with the undivided CPI (ML) in his teens. Later he joined the A.P. State Committee of the People’s War. He was arrested and eventually released but continued with open mass organisation. “…he continued in the committee of relatives and friends of Martyr Heroes [Amaraveerula Bandhumitrula Committee] and participated in all legal and open democratic movements that have been going on in A.P. He stood in support of the revolutionary literary movement also. He integrated with the ongoing mass movement for separate Telangana State,” the CPI-Maoist said.

According to the State Committee statement, the killing of Prasadam has to be seen in the backdrop of retaliatory attack by the State to avenge the Maoist ambush of May 25 that witnessed death of senior Congress leaders. “On the pretext of this attack [May 25 ambush], the rulers of the country have conspired to crush all democratic and revolutionary movements and to carry on their offensive with more severity. Comrade Ganti Prasadam’s killing should also be seen as a part of this conspiracy,” the release said.