CPI (Maoist) Central Committee member Malla Raji Reddy dies of illness in Dandakaranya forest region

He was also an accused in murder of former Speaker of A.P. Assembly D. Sripada Rao in 1999; he carried a reward of ₹1 crore on his head

Published - August 18, 2023 07:46 pm IST - PEDDAPALLI

Top Maoist leader Malla Raji Reddy alias Sangram, Central Committee member of the banned outfit, reportedly died of ill-health in Chhattisgarh’s Dandakaranya forest region. He was 71.

A video purportedly released by Maoists showing some grief-stricken Maoist cadre viewing the body of Raji Reddy somewhere in the dense jungles had surfaced on social media on Friday.

Raji Reddy hailed from Shastrulapally village in Telangana’s Peddapalli district and was one of the first-generation Naxalites from the erstwhile composite Karimnagar district. He got attracted towards the Radical Student Union (RSU) activities after completing Intermediate in late 1970s and subsequently went underground as a dalam member of the then People’s War Group (PWG).

He actively spearheaded the naxal activities in the forest areas of Maharashtra and Bastar Forest region of the erstwhile Madhya Pradesh, now in Chhattisgarh during 1980-90s.

During this period, he allegedly masterminded sensational attacks on Sirpur police station in the then old undivided Adilabad district and on Karakagudem police station in the erstwhile composite Khammam district, inflicting heavy casualties on police, sources said.

He held some of the key posts, including in-charge of revolutionary movement in the south west regional bureau (SWRB) comprising Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Gujarat.

In 2007, Raji Reddy was arrested by the Andhra Pradesh police from Angamali in Kerala. He was lodged in the district jail in Karimnagar for more than two years in connection with several cases pending against him. He subsequently went underground after coming out of the jail on bail.

His name also figured in the former Andhra Pradesh Assembly Speaker D Sripada Rao’s murder case dating back to 1999.

Raji Reddy has several cases pending against him in various States. He carried a reward of ₹1 crore on his head, sources added.

He was considered as an expert in guerrilla warfare tactics and a key leader in furthering the movement in the Dandakaranya forest belt and beyond till his last breath among Maoist circles.

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