New Delhi: CPI(Maoist) Politburo and central committee member Akkiraju Haragopal alias Hargopal Ramkrishna died Wednesday at a Maoist camp in Dandakaranya in Chhattisgarh’s south Bastar district, sources in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) confirmed. He was 57.
According to a source, Ramkrishna, popularly known as R.K., had been “keeping unwell for the last few months” and the information about his death was intercepted by the intelligence agencies on the wireless.
“The reason for his death is not yet known. According to the information that we have, he did not die of Covid, but prolonged illness. He had not been in good health for quite some time now,” the source said.
“He was one of the top-ranking Naxal leaders and was in charge of Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee,” the source added.
In 2004 when Rajasekhara Reddy was the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, Akkiraju had led the peace talks. After Ganapathy, R.K. was the second seniormost Naxal leader.
According to the source, R.K. was “very well trained in jungle warfare and was an expert in concealing himself in the terrain and topography, which is why he always managed to escape, despite several brushes with the forces.”
Ramkrishna hailed from Tumrukota village in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur district and carried a reward of Rs 40 lakh against his name.
According to sources in the CRPF, he often roamed around with an AK47 and was well versed with the working of many modern weapons.
Survived despite several encounters with forces
According to the police, R.K. had been involved in several Naxal operations and had managed to escape several times. He even got severely injured in many encounters with the forces, but always survived.
“There was an operation in 2017 by Greyhounds in which he was seriously injured, but he survived,” a police source said.
In 2003 he tried to kill the former chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu, near Chittoor district.
R.K. completed his engineering from Warangal Engineering College and joined the People’s War Group after he was influenced by the senior communist leader and Maoist organiser, Kondapalli Sitaramaiah. Sitaramaiah died in 2002.
R.K’s son, who was also a part of the Maoist movement, died in an encounter in Ramaguda in 2016.
(Edited by Neha Mahajan)