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Maoist top guns land in net

Hyderabad, Dec. 19: Two Maoist top guns from Andhra Pradesh have been arrested in the past week, jolting the rebels at a time their jailbreaks and prison revolts are making headlines.

Raji Reddy was picked up from Kerala’s Ernakulam on Monday, while Sagar alias Panduranga Reddy was held in Chennai with wife Madhavi and an aide last week.

Raji Reddy, a central committee member of the CPI (Maoists), was a contemporary of Kondapalli Seetharamaiah, who had helped raise the rebels’ armed division. Sagar, also part of the central committee, was an area commander in Guntur’s Nallamala region.

Sagar was produced in a court in Markapuram in Prakasam district but Raji Reddy has yet to appear before one.

Raji Reddy, a Class X dropout from Karimnagar, has over 87 cases against him since he joined the People’s War Group in 1974. In the 90s, he was called “Toofan” (storm) for his dare-devil ways. His wife Nirmalakka was allegedly killed in a 1998 encounter in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar.

Raji Reddy carried a reward of Rs 15 lakh on his head. The bounty for Sagar, who faces 21 cases, was Rs 12 lakh.

Maoist poet Varavara Rao, balladeer Gaddar and rights activist Bhim Reddy — Raji Reddy’s brother — have urged home minister K. Jana Reddy to ensure the safety of the duo.

Rajamma, Raji Reddy’s mother, and Bhim have filed a habeas corpus petition in Andhra Pradesh High Court to have him produced in court.

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