Top Maoist leader cremated amid security
Hyderabad, July 27 (IANS) Amid emotional scenes, a top Andhra Pradesh Maoist leader who quit his home about 25 years ago to work among the poor was cremated Thursday, four days after he was killed in an alleged gun battle.
Armed policemen were everywhere as the last rites of Burra Chinnaiah Goud, a tribal known by his nom de guerre Madhav, were performed at his native village Mangapeta in Karimnagar district, about 200 km from here.
Madhav, the state secretary of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), was slain in an alleged gun battle with the police in Nallamalla forests of Prakasam district Sunday. Seven other Maoists, including five women, were also killed in the incident, which dealt a severe blow to the Maoist movement in the state.
Personnel of Greyhounds, the special anti-Maoist police force that shot dead Madhav and others, had virtually laid a siege to the village to prevent Maoists and their sympathisers from other villages from attending the funeral.
In the process, balladeer Gaddar, writer Varvara Rao and other Maoist sympathisers could not attend the funeral.
Karthik, the only son of Madhav who had never seen him, broke down as he lit the funeral pyre in the presence of relatives, close friends and villagers.
Braving rains, villagers gathered at Madhav's house to view the body of the man who left them some 25 years ago to join the Maoists.
The police deployed videos to film those visiting the slain man's house and attending the funeral.
Madhav's body was brought to the village early Thursday from Guntur, where the autopsy was conducted as per the orders of the Andhra Pradesh high court. Since the body had started rotting, the relatives decided to perform the last rites without delay.
Madhav was elevated to the top position in the outfit last year.
His wife Vasnatha had also joined the Maoists, leaving behind their six-month old son with Madhav's father 16 years ago. Police suspect that one of the slain women could be Vasantha.
Bodies of six other Maoists were handed over to their relatives, who were angry with the police for delaying the process.
Meanwhile, bodies of three Maoists were brought to their houses on the outskirts of Hyderabad under tight security. They include Shyamala and Susheela, who were Madhav's personal guards. The third Maoist was Udaykumar alias Ramana.