Saturday, December 4, 2021

RK: From teacher to Maoist leader

Last rites of Akkiraju Haragopal alias Ramakrishna alias RK were performed by Maoist party cadres at Chhattishgarh-Telangana border near Pamedu-kondapalli villages on Friday afternoon, according to a pressnote issued by the Maoist party. A number of party leaders and cadre had participated in the event.

Ramakrishan, called RK in party circles, died on Thursday in Bijapur district. He had a number of health problems including high diabetic condition and kidney problem. Three years back he was diagnosed with bone cancer. For those who were born and brought up in plains and chose to live in forests along with Adivasis, health problem are bound to occur since they are not used to the conditions there. RK, 60, was so unwell that the comrades had to take him to places on a cot on which he was lying.

RK was born at Tumrakota village in Rentachintala mandal of Guntur district. He studies up to tenth class in his native village and joined Kasu Brahmananda Reddy college at Macherla for Intermediate and degree. He was active in Radical Students Union. He worked as a teacher for some time after completing graduation. He joined People’s War Group which was flourishing under the leadership of Kondapalli Sitaramaiah in 1983. He worked in Nallamal forest for many years. He was secretary of Guntur district committee of PWG. He was secretary of AP unit of the party from 1996 to 2006. He worked as secretary of Andhra-Odisha Border committee from 2008 to 2016. This was the time when the party lost senior leaders in police encounters. Kishanji died in Jungle Mahal area in West Bengal State. His brother Venugopal managed the central committee affairs for some time. Top leaders who were left in the party had an important meeting at Abujmad area. RK worked as a member of the Central Regional Committee.

RK married Kandula Nirmala alias Sirisha alias Sarada alias Padma when both of them were working for the party. She was a division member at the time of wedding. Their son Shivaji alias Munna was killed in the 2016 encounter with the gray hounds. He was 25 year old at that time. Being teacher by habit, RK used to take classes for the new recruits in the party. He was good both at field action and theory. There a number of cases pending against RK. Chief of them was the case about Alipiri incident when the car in which the then chief minister, Nara Chandrababu Naidu was travelling was blasted and he escaped miraculously. Another case was on the attack on grey hounds at Balimela. There were rewards galore for those who could get RK arrested. It ranged from Rs. 40 lakh by Chhattisgarh government, Rs. 25 lakh by Telangana State, Rs. 20 lakh by Odisha and Rs. 12 lakh by Jarkhand State government.

Maoists and Adivasi women at the funeral of RK

RK’s health got deteriorated after he was made member of the Central Committee. He was hale and healthy when he came to Hyderabad to hold talks with representatives of AP government headed by Dr.YS Rajasekhara Reddy. He and his comrades who participated in the talks lived for three days at Majeera Guest House. He was moving freely with journalists and others. Poor people came to the guest house to submit memoranda requesting for his intervention to mitigate their suffering. His love and dedication to the people, especially the poor, downtrodden and the suppressed, was undoubted. It was the first time and perhaps the last time that a State government in the country held talks with extremists. That credit goes to the concerned citizens’ committee, the civil society and the Naxalite leaders as well as the government.

The talks failed shattering the hopes entertained by members of the committee of concerned citizens headed by former IAS officer SR Sankaran who never recovered from the blow. Individuals like senior editor Potturi Venkateswara Rao, ace lawyer Kannabiran, Prof. Haragopal were in the committee. Police ‘encountered some leaders who participate in the talks. The grey hounds surrounded RK in Seshachalam forest near Tirupati with two weeks of failure of talks. Virasam leader Varavara Rao approached the then Home Minister K. Jana Reddy. That initiative by the poet had saved RK’s life at that time.

Grey hounds have encircled and attached a group of Maoist when they were in a meeting on 23 October 2016 when 30 Maoists were killed. RK could escape with the help of his associates though he was week but he lost his young son Shivaji who joined the movement in 2010. RK who was afflicted by a number of health issues had succumbed on 14 October 2021.     

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