Staff Reporter

Naveen Babu was killed in an exchange of fire with police at Darakonda

Hyderabad: The release of a book authored by Yalavarthi Naveen Babu, a naxalite who was killed in an encounter in February 2000, on the political economy of caste in the Indian social formation titled ‘From Varna to Jati’, made speakers relive their memories.

Naveen Babu was killed in an exchange of fire with the police at Darakonda, about 200 km from Visakhapatnam. The book, that was actually his M.Phil dissertation at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, in the mid 80s, was released here on Sunday.

It traces the history of caste in socio-cultural and economic aspects and was released by a social activist from Maharashtra, Anil Bodhkar, said to be Naveen’s close friend.

It was a close-knit gathering of like-minded people that primarily comprised Naveen’s family, friends and admirers, at the ICSSR auditorium in OU Library.

“We did not know Naveen had joined the naxal movement. Ten days after the Darakonda encounter, we were informed of his death and that the body was cremated by the Visakapatnam Municipality,” recalled Ravindra Rao, his uncle.

The book release was attended by Naveen’s parents, Satyavati and Ram Mohan Rao, and G. Haragopal from UoH, revolutionary poet Varavara Rao and others.