in the jungle
Naxals Nayeemuddin and Nagaraju are
PC Vinoj Kumar
civil rights activists in Andhra Pradesh shudder on hearing two names.
Nayeemuddin and Jadala Nagaraju. Former Naxalites who took to crime after
coming out of the movement. Nayeemuddin, hailing from Bhongir in Nalgonda
district, is said to be staying in or close to Hyderabad, with full police
security. As a cadre of the People’s War (PW), Nayeemuddin allegedly
shot dead KS Vyas, a deputy inspector general of police. An ‘encounter
specialist’ in the force, Vyas was shot at while on his morning
jog at Hyderabad’s Fateh Maidan. “The Vyas murder case is
pending for around 13 years. It is ironic that Nayeemuddin, one of the
accused in the case, is now being used by the police,” says KG Kannabiran,
national president, People’s Union for Civil Liberties.
Some activists say Nayeemuddin developed differences with the pw leadership
when they did not act against a cadre who had misbehaved with his sister.
He surrendered to the government while in jail and was released when his
bail application was not opposed by the state. “Today he is the
most feared of the counter-insurgents. He has a gang of about 50 with
him. One telephone call from him is enough to silence activists who have
successfully resisted police harassment for years,” says K. Balagopal,
general secretary of Human Rights Forum.
and some of his henchmen were arrested for the murder of APCLC activist
T. Purushotham in 2000. In 2003, a trial court acquitted him of the charges.
“There were no eyewitness to the murder and the case could not pursued,”
says B. Jyothi, Purushotham’s widow and president of Andhra Pradesh
Chaitanya Mahila Samaakya.
As a cadre of the People’s
War, Nayeemuddin allegedly shot dead DIG KS Vyas 13 years ago. Ironically,
the police is now being accused of using him
When reporters recently questioned home minister K. Jana Reddy about the
government’s inability to get Nayeemuddin, the minister informed
that the police was making efforts to nab him. “If anybody has knowledge
of Nayeemuddin, he is free to give information,” he said.
The thickly forested northeastern part of Karimnagar district is believed
to be Jadala Nagaraju’s hideout. According to activists, he had
left pw after killing the district committee secretary of the organisation
in 1998. “He is unique among the counter-insurgents because he operates
partly through the elected bodies. He uses strong-arm methods to get his
people elected though he himself is yet to join any party,” says
Two other former Naxalites, Kathula Sammaiah and Bayyapu Sammi Reddy are
no more. Sammaiah died in Colombo in 2001 in an airplane accident. Despite
his criminal record and pending cases, he was able to obtain a passport
and was proceeding to Germany when he is reported to have fallen off the
aircraft in Colombo airport, says Kannabiran. Sammi Reddy’s dead
body was found in a water tank in Krishna district in 2003. “His
wife alleged that it was Nagaraju who killed him. They had apparently
taken opposite sides in some land or business dispute,” says Balagopal.
The history of private militias in Andhra Pradesh goes back to the late
1980s. Activists say it was Ashok Prasad, then superintendent of police
at Karim Nagar, who first attempted to bring together victims of Naxalite
violence with the idea of using them against the Naxalites. Later, in
the mid-90s, a group called Kranthi Sena was involved in the murder of
some militants, especially in Karimnagar district.