Senior Maoist operative, Ramanna alias Vitthalanna Madru, 65, head of CPI (Maoist)’s research and development wing for arms, and wife Padma alias Minti Dobayya Kodape, 55, were arrested on Friday. “The couple was caught at Ballarpur station by Chandrapur police after we tipped them off. They were brought to Gadchiroli, where we have put them under arrest,” Gadchiroli SP Abhinav Deshmukh told The Indian Express.
Ramanna was a member of CPI (Maoist)’s Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee and is the first cadre of that level to be arrested. Well-versed in Telugu, he is an expert gun-maker and a trainer in weapon-handling. Padma, a tribal, has also worked in many Dalams since 1992.
Ramanna carried a reward of Rs 25 lakh while Padma had a bounty of Rs 6 lakh on her head, police said. Sources said, “Ramanna had been complaining of differences with some Central Committee members like Bhupati, brother of Kisanji, who was killed in an encounter in West Bengal a few years ago. He complained that his advices on implementation of certain plans were not heeded.”
They added: “He should have become central committee member by virtue of his seniority and commitment but probably differences with seniors like Bhupati and Kosa prevented his elevation.” Ramanna was apparently headed for Sikandarabad in Telangana where he originally belonged. “An informer had sighted him in Gadchiroli and we were on his track,” Deshmukh said.