Maoist chief Ganapathy is the most wanted man in India

Hyderabad: Muppala Lakshman, alias Ganapathy, the shadowy head of the outlawed CPI-Maoist, tops the list of the most wanted persons in the country. The National Investigation Agency in its latest list of the “most wanted” has put a reward of Rs1.5 million (Dh74.918) on his head.

Born in Karimnagar, Telangana, Ganapathy has been at the helm of the dreaded ultra left organisation for almost quarter of a century. After leading a coup d’état against the founder chief of the People’s War in early 1990s and taking over the leadership, Ganapathy ushered all the armed Maoist groups towards merger to form a pan-India Communist Party of India-Maoist in 2005.

Though the police and intelligence organisations of several states as well as the agencies of government of India have been chasing him, Ganapthy has always managed to dodge them and believed to be hiding somewhere in Dandakaranya forest.

However, according to the intelligence reports age was catching up with him and the 69-year-old guerrilla fighter was facing several health issues. Amid the increasing pressure he was likely to make way for his lieutenant Nambala Keshav Rao, alias Basawaraj, who is No. 2 in the ranks of the Maoist leaders. In the NIA list of 258 most wanted Maoists, he carries a reward of Rs1 million. Keshav Rao is a key figure as he is said to be the top most expert in making improvised explosive devices and also an expert in military strategy. He heads the military commission of the underground organisation.

The list, which was released recently by the NIA, also includes 15 women Maoists. Ever since the unrelenting pressure of the police force pushed them out of their secure hideout of Nalamalla forest in Andhra Pradesh and other safe zones in Telangana, the entire top leadership was restricted to the safe areas in Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Jharkhand.

Ramakrishna, alias RK, was the last top leader to flee the state more than a decade ago while most of his contemporaries, including Shakhamuri Appa Rao, were killed in police operations.

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