Sunday, Apr 14, 2002
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By Our Staff Reporter
Only a few admirers, friends, and members of his family were present at Karuna Hospital-cum-residence at Siddhardha Nagar here of Gangadhar, the grand son-in-law, where the body was kept for people to pay homage. Plainclothes policemen and intelligence officials were present near the house. The body of the 87-year-old former naxalite leader has been kept at the hospital compound since last night in a makeshift coffin -- the rear side of a water cooler was converted into a coffin.
Some of Kondapalli's admirers laid wreaths and flowers on his body, before it was taken out in procession in a flower-decked truck. While no big political or revolutionary leader came to the house, some youths raised slogans... `Johar johar Kondapalli Seetharamaiah,' `We will make every effort to achieve the ideals for which you stood... '. Revolutionary songs were played on the public address system at the residence where Kondapalli lived underground for about 20 years.
In keeping with the Communist tradition, there was no ceremony and the body was cremated at the electric crematorium in the evening. The grand sons-in law -- V.S. Krishna and Dr. Gangadhar -- were present. Koteswaramma, the estranged wife of Kondapalli, has come down from Hyderabad to pay her respects. She reportedly broke down after seeing his body. Koteswaramma has been staying at an old-age home in Hyderabad. Conspicuous by her absence was the former naxalite, Anusuyamma, who has been living with Kondapalli in the city.
Kondapalli is survived by his two granddaughters - V. Anuradha and Sudha.
Our Special Correspondent from Hyderabad writes: Left parties and civil rights organisations today paid tributes to Kondapalli. The CPI(M) State secretary, B.V. Raghavulu, said the veteran leader had been with Communist movement till his last. The CPI State secretary, S. Sudhakar Reddy, said Kondapalli was a contemporary of stalwarts of the undivided Communist movement like Chandra Rajeswara Rao and P. Sundarayya, but switched to armed struggle after the party split.
M. Omkar, general secretary, MCPI, and B.N. Reddy, former MP, and B. Tharakam, president, Republic Party of India, described him as a great revolutionary who fought for the oppressed and the exploited masses.
K.G. Kannabiran, president, People's Union of Civil Liberties, described Kondapalli as a legend and inspiration to the youth of Telangana. Mere invocation of his name struck terror among the exploiters, he recalled. Mr. Kannabiran said he valued his relationship with the veteran despite differences.
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