K. Srinivas Reddy
Patel Sudhakar Reddy specialised in urban guerrilla warfare
HYDERABAD: The killing of Patel Sudhakar Reddy, a top naxalite leader by the Warangal police, within a week of the Congress government returning to power in the State speaks of the renewed resolve of the Government to tackle the Maoist problem in the State.
The neutralisation of the top ranking naxalite will not only be a major setback to efforts for revival of the Maoist movement in the State, but also will have an adverse impact on the movement in the country, as Reddy was heading the most secretive Military Intelligence (MI) unit in the Central Military Commission (CMC). So secret was his work that other Central Committee members too would have no idea of his movements or work as he would directly report to Muppala Laxmana Rao alias Ganapathy, the general secretary of the party.
The success of Andhra Pradesh police in tracking Reddy must be causing great concern to the Maoists, as he is the third Central Committee member from the State to be killed in the last three years. Earlier, Sande Rajamouli and Wadkapur Chandramouli were gunned down in Anantapur and Visakhapatnam districts respectively. As many as nine Central Committee members were arrested in the country in the last three years.
As recently as in December 2007, the CC had expressed concern over the decimation of the Maoist central leadership. The central committee expressed concern saying that the police were concentrating on ‘eliminating and arresting’ central and State leaderships throughout the country. “The loss of leadership comrades had never been as serious in such a short period in the enemy offensive,” the CC document prepared by Ganapathy said.
The inability of the Maoist party to protect its leaders, it is argued, could force the Maoists to step up attacks on police and politicians as they firmly believe that only such ‘retaliatory violence’ would blunt the police initiative and provide space for the revolutionary movement to spread.
Reddy, known as Vikas, was taken into the CC as a representative of Maharashtra in 2007. Known to be tech-savvy, Sudhakar Reddy set up the MI unit and was also instrumental in getting international exposure to the Maoist movement using internet extensively.
The naxalite leader was arrested in April 1992 in Bangalore where he had set up an extensive gun running network. Police who seized nearly 250 double barrel guns from his den were surprised to find that he was using a fax machine, a new tool in those days. When the erstwhile People’s War (PW) announced a unilateral ceasefire through a group of newsmen in 2002, it was Patel Sudhakar Reddy who showed documentaries to visiting newsmen on spread of naxalite movement on his brand new laptop, deep inside the Nallamala forests.
Reddy, officials admit, was an extremely intelligent man. After his prolonged interrogation spells with intelligence officers, he wrote to his party from jail underlining the need to set up an intelligence unit in the party on the lines of police.
The MI unit members, under his guidance, not only used open source intelligence to build a database of their targets, but also helped Maoist party to devise strategies in response to the counter strategies of police. Sources say, Reddy had also specialised in urban guerrilla warfare and had conducted a two-week training camp in Nallamala.
After his arrest, he was in Chanchalguda central prison for over five years and jumped bail to return to underground life in 1997. Till 2003 he was the Member of State Military Commission (SMC) and moved in the State, mostly in Nallamala or in South Telangana. Later he was sent to North India and inducted into the Central Committee and the Central Military Commission (CMC).