Sudarshan was a 'contract killer, dacoit'

BANGALORE, MAY 8. The dreaded naxalite, Chinna Sudarashan, who was shot dead in an encounter by the Dharmavaram Police of Andhra Pradesh in Nelamangala Police limits in Bangalore Rural District on Sunday night, was basically a contract killer, an extortionist and a dacoit who was bereft of any ideology.

According to sources, Sudarshan, who hailed from Narapla village in Ananthapur District of Andhra Pradesh, was an accused in 24 criminal cases, including 12 murders in Ananthapur, Dharmavaram and Penugonda.

He was also hired by various faction leaders of the Rayalaseema region, mainly Ananthapur District, to eliminate their rivals, sources told TheHindu here today.

Though he was earlier associated with a splinter unit of the People's War Group (PWG), a banned naxalite outfit in Andhra Pradesh, he had started his own organisation, ``Red Star'', of which he was the Regional Secretary of the Rayalaseema region.

Sources said that on the last day of Mohharrum recently, Sudarshan barged into the house of Mr. Kasim, a follower of Mr. Paritala Ravindra alias Ravi, Penagonda MLA and a key player in the factional politics of Rayalaseema, and shot him dead.

After killing Kasim at his residence in Dharmavaram town, Sudarshan had emerged ``stronger'' and had been threatening rich landlords and other faction leaders too.

It is said that apart from Mr. Paritala Ravi, Sudarshan had also enmity with Suryanarayana Reddy alias Soori, prime accused in the car blast that took place in Hyderabad a few years ago claiming more than a dozen lives, sources said.

Sudarshan was allegedly involved in the killing of two sarpanches, Mr. Moreppa of Darshanamali Panchayat and Sevya Naik of Nelkota Panchayat. He was accused of murdering Mr. Balija Venkataramana and Mr. Boya Ramanjeneya near Ananthapur about three months ago. Mr. Linga Reddy of C. C. Kote and Mr. Kurabara Mallesh of Atmakur in Tadimiri Mandal and Mr. Sooryam were also allegedly hacked to death by Sudarshan, sources said.

Though Sudarshan claimed to be the Rayalaseema Regional Secretary of the Red Star, he was mainly operating in Anantapur District and nurtured political ambitions.

Unlike other naxalites he was devoid of the nalaxite ideology and was living on the money he earned through extortion, dacoity and contract killings, according senior officers of the Andhra Pradesh Police who were in Bangalore today.

Meanwhile, the encounter between the Andhra Pradesh Police and Sudarshan is the first instance of the police from the neighbouring State shooting down a terrors it in Karnataka.

However, there are many instances where in the Karnataka Police themselves have shot dead those persons having links with various naxalite outfits.

The Yepaladinne Police in Raichur District shot dead an activist of the Karnataka Raitha Coolie Sangha (KRCS), a splinter group of the PWG in September last.

Similarly, a few years ago, the Bellary Police headed by the then Superintendent of Police, Mr. Shankar M. Bidri, shot dead Beemla Naik, who allegedly had links with naxalite groups, at Mundargi on the outskirts of Bellary.

In another related incident, a gang owing allegiance to the PWG as well as a factional leader of Ananthapur shot dead a rich agriculturist, Venkatesh Reddy, in Maski taluk of Raichur District in October, 1999.