Kerala Maoist held in Pune is son of ex-diplomat

Officers identified the aide as 29-year-old C P Ismail and said Murali was receiving treatment for various ailments.

Written by Shaju Philip | Kochi | Updated: May 10, 2015 7:14 am
Maoists, naxals, kerala K Venu, a prominent Naxal leader of the 70s, said Murali had played a crucial role in building the movement in the college at the time.

The Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested top Maoist leader Murali Kannampilly alias Ajith, 62, and an aide from a hospital about 30 km away from Pune on Friday with police sources in Kerala labelling him as the “backbone” of the movement in the state.

Officers identified the aide as 29-year-old C P Ismail and said Murali was receiving treatment for various ailments. They added that a court later remanded the two to the custody of ATS for seven days.

Murali’s arrest comes over a week after Andhra police arrested Kerala’s most wanted Maoist couple, Roopesh and Shyna, from outside a bakery in Tamil Nadu.

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Police sources in Kerala said Murali is the son of Kannampilly Karunakara Menon, who had worked as a diplomat in Indian missions in several European countries.

When Emergency was cleared in 1975, Murali had been a final-year engineering student at Regional Engineering College, Kozhikode (now NIT-C). He then went underground.

K Venu, a prominent Naxal leader of the 70s, said Murali had played a crucial role in building the movement in the college at the time. “He had initiated P Rajan and several others into Left extremism,” he said.

Rajan had later died as a victim of police torture during the Emergency in a controversial case that finally led to the resignation of former Kerala Chief Minister K Karunakaran.

“Murali had wide contacts with Maoist movements across the world and had even acted as a mediator in Nepal where Maoism was hit by dissidence,” Venu said.

He added that Murali was the “true” Maoist leader from Kerala, who maintained close links with the national leadership – he remained elusive, was reluctant to be photographed and never interacted with the media.

Venu said he had last met Murali six years ago. “He has been moving freely everywhere as none could recognise him. He has authored books and several articles under the name Ajith, and has always been an efficient organiser and ideologue of Marxist Leninist politics,’’ said Venu.

Sources said Murali had been brain behind the incident in which Maoists held a District Collector in Kerala hostage for several hours in 1996 to highlight the tribal issues. “But his name never figured in the list of the accused as the arrested did not divulge his name,’’ police sources said.

Many pro-Maoists in Kerala attribute the arrest of Murali to the failed merger of CPI-ML (Naxalbari), of which he was the secretary, with CPI (Maoist) in 2014. “He might have been trapped by someone in the Maoist camp,’’ sources said.

Murali had married a Dalit woman, but later got separated. Their only son is living with Murali’s brother.

Police identified Murali’s arrested aide as Ismail, the leader of a frontal Maoist outfit in Kerala called Porattam.

(With inputs from ENS/Pune)

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  1. N
    nadella Narasimharao
    Oct 11, 2016 at 3:20 am
    Dear alllt;br/gt;As i know him personally studied in REC calicut such bright and from highly educated back ground one should feel sympathy as wellas pity instead one should not think of encounter may be he has not seen how smart and highly intelligent and principle during college days. what ever happened 40 years back today nobody knows.Still my my buddy/ Close ociate suffering in Jail. Never imagine .Loving friend
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    1. V
      Vinu
      May 10, 2015 at 12:20 pm
      Only good Maoist is a dead Moaist, instead of apprehending him, Police should have encountered him the way they did Naxal Varghese. The peace that Kerala today enjoys is because of the stern actions of then Devan Sir CP & former CM, k Karunakaran.
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      1. H
        hemkant
        May 10, 2015 at 10:28 am
        Communism or Marxism failed throughout the world . Maoists must understand that their system and movement will not help poor people to progress.
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        1. D
          Dr Motilal
          May 10, 2015 at 6:49 am
          Maoists are not criminals . They are "MISS GUIDED YOUTH " fighting for "INVISIBLE POWER " the extremist communists have made them to believe . When they will realize that they have victimized their own it will be too late to regret about . With the changed situation new strategy need to be thought in dealing with these Indian youth . They must be made to know that communism is dead. You can achieve more than what you want by joining main stream .
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          1. R
            RAnj
            May 10, 2015 at 10:47 am
            what crime he did?? brain behind the incident in which Maoists held a District Collector in Kerala hostage for several hours in 1996??? is this? who is venu?
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