Friday, June 10, 2011

List of Social Workers and Political Activists arrested killed online

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. - Charles Darwin
The above quote made by Charles Darwin in the context of the evolution of biological species can be applied to the political animal too. The maoists/naxalites which are one among the many political species that originate in the sub-continent have over the past few years made some efforts to adapt to changes that are taking place in India.

One major change that has taken place in India over the last decade, is the growth in telecom infrastructure which in turn has increased the spread and decreased the cost of acquiring Internet connectivity. Internet penetration in India is estimated to be at 8.5% of the population as of 2010, this translates into approximately 100 million people who currently have access to the Internet. Only a small percentage of this 100 million are regular users , which is still significant.

Publishing and disseminating information through the Internet can be considered as one of the important initiatives that they have taken in recent times.One can also speculate that they are using the internet for their internal communication and research also.

The benefits of using the Internet for communication however has come at a heavy price.The murders and arrests of social workers and political activists who have been tracked electronically either through the Internet / Mobile or by the use of other surveillance technology.

In fact more than two years ago, the CPI (Maoist) had constituted a two member ‘ Investigation Commission ' with two central committee members - Kobad Ghandy and Patel Sudhakar Reddy, to zero in on the reasons for the arrests and killings of top Maoist leaders. But before they could complete the investigation - Kobad Ghandy was arrested in May 2009 and Patel Sudhakar Reddy was killed in a fake encounter in Sep 2009.

As this article which appeared in the Hindu last month reveals :
Maoist party ordered top leaders not to attend February meeting 
In a curious development, the Maoist party is said to have ordered six of its central committee members to stay away from a top-level meeting that was convened on the borders of Orissa and Jharkhand in February. 
The central committee meeting, called to take stock of the revolutionary movement in the country, was attended by the other 18 members. Among the six leaders ordered not to attend were Akkiraju Haragopal alias Ramakrishna, Varanasi Subrahmanyam, Pulendu Sekhar Mukherji, Misir Besra, Malla Raji Reddy and another unidentified person, intelligence agencies say. 
The Maoist leadership suspected that these six were under intense surveillance from intelligence agencies, and that their attending the meeting could jeopardise the security of the other central committee members.
The arrest of CC member Varanasi Subramanium on April 29th, 2011 is another shocker because it proves that senior Maoist leaders are unable to shake off their pursuers. Before he was arrested on April 29th 2011 , he had two close scares in Delhi during his interactions with Swami Agnivesh (Peace talks mediator) in the months of July 2010 and August 2010. This means it took the IB only 10 months to get back on his trail and arrest him ?

This has led to speculation that either there is mole in the higher ranks of the CPI(Maoist) who is passing on this information or it could be the result of increased surveillance which the CPI(Maoist) is unable to detect or bypass.

Over the last few years, many such cases have been reported in the media.

Given below is a brief list I have compiled of such cases which have been reported in the Media. PUCL and other civil liberties organisations should investigate if these individuals were tracked online and initiate suitable actions to protect the democratic rights of Indian Citizens.

The list below is indicative and not comprehensive as there are some other reports that I couldn't find.

List of Social Workers and Political Activists arrested killed through the Internet

Arrested : April 2011
Three CPI(Maoist) CC member Varanasi Subramanium, Vijay Kumar and Jhantu Mukherjee

As mentioned before Varanasi Subrmanium got two chances in July 2010 and August 2010 but was still tracked down and arrested in April 2011.

One can speculate that it was Varanasi who was the weak link and led the IB to the other two CC members. As per media reports Varanasi Subramanium is believed to have been managing International Relations after the arrest of Kobad Gandhy.

Arrested : October 2010
Cecelia Guriya, Alleged Courier and girlfriend of Maoist leader Kundan Pahan.

As per the news report which appeared in the Telegraph
Pahan girlfriend held 
Cecelia, who is also known as Rupa and Monica Dang, was arrested with a letter from CPI(Maoist) politburo member Amitabh Bagchi. 
She trained at Saranda and then worked with Maoist sub-zonal commander Prasadji in Rania. When Pahan met and fell in love with her, she was sent to work in Bundu-Tamar in January. He then sent her for computer training at an institute in Khunti to make her a member of the Maoists’ technical cell,” 

Arrested : August 2010
CPI (Maoist) leader Rajesh Kumar Sinha alias Udaiji

This article which appeared in the Times of India shortly after his arrest reveals that : -
Captured Maoist sings, says he has girlfriend in UK 
Udaiji's interrogators are now quizzing him on whether or not he secured funds from the UK for the Maoist movement. "We are also scanning his email accounts, blogs and chat history as well as bank accounts to cross-check his confessions," another police officer said.

He gave police the slip several times even though he extensively moved in the three states, said a cop who was tracking him for the last two years.( Tracking him online or offline? )

Killed : July 2010
CPI(Maoist) Politburo member Azad and Journalist Hemachandra Pandey killed in fake encounter

Azad's interactions with the media had increased manifold over the past few years.Until some years ago there would be an interview probably once every 2-3 years and about 5-10 press releases annually. But with the intensification of People's war over the last few years, the amount of press material attributed to Azad saw a huge leap. This would have meant greater interactions with the media and taking much greater risks.

As per this news article published in India Today weeks after both of them were killed in fake encounters:
AP Cops raid dead Journalists house 
A five-member team of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Andhra Pradesh police raided Pandey's rented house in A-96 Shastri Nagar,Delhi where Hemachandra Pandey and his wife Babita had been staying since February 7. 
The police have seized about 1,000 books, a computer, a laptop, a scanner, a fax machine and four letters addressed to top leaders of the Maoists.
One can speculate that the police got to Azad through Hemachandra Pandey who could have been the compromised link. It is also unlikely that Azad himself accessed the Internet directly and mostly relied on some courier for his information needs who could have also have been the weak link.

Moreover they were interacting with a highly exposed Swami Agnivesh who also must have ultimately unknowingly played a role in their deaths.

Arrested June : 2010
Nanda Kumar , CPI Maoist Karnataka State Secretary was arrested first and then a week later Chandrasekhar Gorebale, another member of the CPI Maoist Karnataka State Committee was arrested.
It was only a week ago that the Karnataka police arrested the Karnataka secretary of the Maoist party, Nanda Kumar in a raid in Shimoga district. This is the second successive blow to the Maoist movement in Karnataka in the recent times.
One of them used to issue press releases on behalf of the CPI(Maoist) Karnataka State Committee.. I am not sure who but as per media reports I think it was Chandrasekhar Gorebale who used to use the alias of Gangadhar. He had been issuing press releases and managing media relations for the Karnataka SC since many years.

You can find an archive of press releases issued by him at

Arrested : September 2009
CPI(Maoist) Politburo member Kobad Gandhy

Kobad Gandhy was arrested in Delhi in September 2009. He is alive in jail today because he did not fulfill the criteria that the AP SIB/SIT have for bumping off Maoists in fake encounters. As per news reports that were published after his arrest. Two contradicting claims were made.

An article which appeared in the Hindustan Times claimed : 
E-trail led to Kobad capture
One of the factors that led to Maoist Politburo member Kobad Ghandy’s arrest was his carelessness in concealing his tracks while using the Internet, police sources reveal. Police sources said it was the seizure of a laptop the Maoist left behind during a police raid in Jharkhand that set them on Ghandy’s trail.
Ghandy had authored a document soon after the Lok Sabha elections called ‘Post-election situation: Our tasks’ that was found on this laptop.Thereafter, cyber crime detectives tracked various IP addresses through which the document was circulated, which in turn led to people whose questioning led them to Ghandy. 
The CPI(Maoist) confirmed this soon and blamed a courier of having betrayed Kobad. It was however not revealed how the police got to the courier. The article appeared in Zee News
'Weak element' betrayed Kobad Gandhy, claim Maoists
"The arrest of Gandhy is being touted as a big success of intelligence officials while it was actually a result of the betrayal by a weak element in the party who was acting as his courier," CPI (Maoist) spokesperson Azad said. 
The "courier" led the Andhra Pradesh Police and intelligence wing in Delhi to the rendezvous spot of Gandhy in Bhikaji Cama Place, he claimed in a statement. However, the party did not identify the "betrayer".  
The Maoists are of the view that the arrest of Gandhy, who played a "crucial role" in bringing out party publications in English, was a "great loss" to the party
However another contradictory article which appeared in Zee News at the same time claimed
Pen drive new tool for Maoists to hoodwink police? 
The laptop of Ghandy, which was seized from him by Delhi Police's Special Cell after his arrest on September 21, did not have a hard drive and investigators were left high and dry as it did not reveal much about the plans of the outlawed CPI (Maoist). 
"Ghandy's laptop did not have a hard drive. Maoists are using laptops without hard drives. Hard drives are loaded in pen drives. Once the laptop is used, they take out the pen drive," a senior police official said.
If Kobad Gandhy's actual laptop did not have a hard drive then whose laptop was it that was seized in Jharkhand and how did it lead to the arrest of Kobad Gandhy ?

Killed : May 2009
Tech Savy Patel Sudhakar Reddy, MI and CC member killed in fake encounter

An article that appeared after his death the Hindu
Huge setback to Maoist movement 
Reddy, known as Vikas, was taken into the CC as a representative of Maharashtra in 2007. Known to be tech-savvy, Sudhakar Reddy set up the MI unit and was also instrumental in getting international exposure to the Maoist movement using internet extensively. 
The naxalite leader was arrested in April 1992 in Bangalore where he had set up an extensive gun running network. Police who seized nearly 250 double barrel guns from his den were surprised to find that he was using a fax machine, a new tool in those days.When the erstwhile People’s War (PW) announced a unilateral ceasefire through a group of newsmen in 2002, it was Patel Sudhakar Reddy who showed documentaries to visiting newsmen on spread of naxalite movement on his brand new laptop, deep inside the Nallamala forests.Reddy, officials admit, was an extremely intelligent man.  
After his prolonged interrogation spells with intelligence officers, he wrote to his party from jail underlining the need to set up an intelligence unit in the party on the lines of police.The MI unit members, under his guidance, not only used open source intelligence to build a database of their targets, but also helped Maoist party to devise strategies in response to the counter strategies of police.
If Patel Sudhar Reddy is intercepted and killed in a fake encounter,  it should ring alarm bells in any activist's mind, he was the most tech savy among them all.

Killed : April 2008
Maoist leaders Gajerala Saraiah and Aruna killed in fake encounter

An article which appeared in the Hindu claims :
Slain naxal couple lived in village near Belgaum 
Maoist and most-wanted naxalite Gajerala Saraiah (44) alias Azad alias Bhaskar and his wife and member of the Maoist party, B. Aruna alias Rama, who were reportedly killed in an encounter near Rampur forest area in Eturunagaram mandal limits in Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh on April 2, had spent nine to 10 months in a sleepy village near Belgaum, Karnataka. 
When contacted, the owner of the house, Ashok Hadimani, said he was not aware about the true identities of his tenants and was surprised to know that they were naxalites. He said “Vinay” had presented himself as a computer worker and engaged in desktop publishing and hailed from Chintyal village in Andhra Pradesh. target="_blank"

Arrested : June 2007
Alleged CPI Maoist operative Arun Ferreira 
Studying Networks- Naxalites eyeing Dabbawallahs
The pen drive seized from alleged Naxalite Arun Ferreira contained information about the operational details of the city’s dabbawalas, top officials of the anti-Naxalite unit of Maharashtra Police told DNA

Killed : June 2007
CPI Maoist Karnataka State Secretary Sende Rajmouli killed in fake encounter

As per a news article that had appeared in the now defunct website
Rajamouli’s body handed over to kin 
Monday June 25 2007 12:23 IST
ANANTAPUR: Dharmavaram police handed over the body of Sande Rajamouli, one of the topmost Naxalite leader, to his relatives.

DSP Sivaiah spoke to them and handed over the body to them. Mouli’s relatives alleged that he was killed in a fake encounter and demanded an inquiry. 
It is learnt that the CDs seized from near the body of the slain Naxalite contained important information. The information included the letter written by Mouli’s wife Rajita to Maoist politburo member Lakshman and e-mail IDs and websites of Maoist leaders in the world.

They also had information about various militant outfits in Nepal, their addresses, e-mail IDs.
One can speculate that a courier who provided this CD was the one who led the police to Rajmouli. The courier probably practiced insecure internet browsing and was most likely traced during one of his online sessions.

What is common among all those listed above ?

1. Most of the social workers and political activists who have been killed / arrested above seem to possess laptops, usb's and other electronic devices, which indicates that they could have been active on the Internet.

2. Most of them are directly or indirectly involved in publication, managing media communication or international relations.

3. Only in the case of Kobad Gandhy, both the CPI(Maoist) and IB have confirmed that he was traced through through his tracks left behind by his courier on the Interent. There is little or no information available about the others as to how they were all intercepted, arrested and killed .


1. If you don't understand the Internets , stay away from the Internets.

2. Outsource Publication/ Media relations to an external body present in a neutral country. Existing international linkages like the ILPS could be used. Being officially present in another country has numerous advantages, gives very high visibility, plenty of sympathetic PIO's NRI's, is more secure and far easier to communicate and co-ordinate with media. Ideally Azad or Kobad should have been present in an external country in a role similar to that taken up by Prof Jose Maria Sison who is based in the Netherlands.

3.International communists have various advantages in these areas which social workers in India lack. Who knows what could be done ?

4. If the search engine data is any indication it is high time they set up their own platform online rather than depend on third parties whose intentions are not always clear.

5. All information given in this post has been collated from media reports available online.

Last but not the least please read our Disclaimer.


  1. Shock of Reality6/11/2011 12:54:00 AM

    Just wondering where can I find the list of people killed by the naxals and other maoist.

  2. Quit whoring around this blog looking for your next penetration.

  3. Shock of Reality6/11/2011 02:39:00 PM

    I can’t quite because I have to know more about our self. I can’t quite because I have the thirst of knowledge, I can’t quite dreaming on the foundation of reality. I can’t quite because I love my people.

  4. I saw a fellow with a T Shirt and a familiar drawing of Azad with something written under it that from distance could read like A N D A.. N.. D... Next station I got off and went closer to the person and i merely managed to read ... A N D Azad Never Dies ... I couldn't get off on that station but, didn't know should I laugh and be proud of this young British having that T Shirt or, cry to recall what happened there. But after all it is true since, what shirt said it's true. Nadia my friend said cool down and go make more T shirt like that one. I wonder what difference a T shirt make in the world

  5. Shock of Reality6/12/2011 01:33:00 PM

    you are right, people like him never die, it's the innocent common man who die brutally by the hand of Maoist/communist.


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