Visakhapatnam: In a major blow to the Maoist movement in Andhra Pradesh, the state police arrested a top Maoist leader, which resulted in the surrender of 60 cadres.
Communist Party of India-Maoist leader Vanthala Ramakrishna was arrested in Alluri Sitharamaraju district, dealing a big blow to the banned outfit in Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB) region.
Ramakrishna alias Prabhakar alias Goddali Rayudu was the Area Committee Secretary (ACS) of Paddeabayalu-Korukonda area.
Following their leader’s arrest, 33 party members of the Korukonda Area Committee and 27 militia members surrendered before the police.
According to police, the Maoist leader carried a reward of Rs 5 Lakh. Police seized Rs 39 lakh cash, a mine weighing 5 kg, five detonators, a 9 mm pistol with 9 rounds and Maoist party literature from him.
Director General of Police K.V. Rajendranath Reddy said that the surrenders displays the weakening base of Maoists due to the developmental activities taken up by the government and people are vexed with the outdated ideology of the rebels.
He appealed to all Maoist cadres to surrender and join the mainstream to lead normal life and also to avail the benefits of ‘surrender and rehabilitation policy’ of the government.
The arrest of Ramakrishna left the Maoist party without any leader in the AOB region. He was one of the last two leaders left in the region after the killing of six Maoists in an encounter with police in June last year.
Many key leaders from AOB region moved to Chhattisgarh amid reports of a rift between tribal and non-tribal Maoist leaders.
Kora Nageswara Rao alias Nagesh, the other key leader, was arrested last month.