Staff Reporter

Patel Sudhakar Reddy died in an encounter with Andhra Pradesh police on Sunday

BANGALORE: The death of Patel Sudhakar Reddy in an encounter in Andhra Pradesh has caused a severe jolt to the naxalite movement in Karnataka. Reddy, a central committee member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), was the guiding force of the Maoist activities in the State for the past four years.

Reddy with aliases such as Suryam and Srikanth, and Kanugula Venkataiah, a State committee member, were killed in an exchange of fire with the Andhra Pradesh police in the thick Tadaval forest area in Warangal district on Sunday.

The police recovered an AK-47, a 9 mm pistol, an 8 mm rifle, three kitbags, Rs. 20,000 in cash and revolutionary literature.

Reddy, was deputed to strengthen the naxalite movement in Karnataka following the death of Saket Rajan, the Karnataka secretary of CPI (Maoist), in an encounter with the police in 2005.

Charges against him

Reddy was accused of masterminding an attempt on the life of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu near Tirupati.

He was also charged with masterminding the murder of the then Andhra Pradesh Minister A. Madhava Reddy in March 2000.

Taking over as the chief of Karnataka operations, Reddy regrouped the naxalite activists in the State and also formed two squads called “Karavali” and “Varahi”.

He also brought in his men from Andhra Pradesh. The CPI (Maoist) formed the South West Regional Committee to strengthen its activities in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

According to senior police officials, Reddy stayed for a while in Karnataka before returning to Andhra Pradesh. “Being a member of the central committee, he was guiding the naxalite activities in the State,” a senior officer said.

The State police had prepared a dossier about his activities and had been looking for him.