Senior Maoist leader questioned: ‘Leadership crisis, not security operations, may bring down movement’https://indianexpress.com/article/india/senior-maoist-leader-questioned-leadership-crisis-not-security-ops-may-bring-down-movement-5068205/

Senior Maoist leader questioned: ‘Leadership crisis, not security operations, may bring down movement’

Popularly known as Tech Ramanna due to his expertise in weapon manufacturing and training, Ramanna has been part of the Maoist movement since 1976 and has worked closely with senior leaders like late Kondapalli Seetharamaiah.

Maoists present in Indian states
Maoist movement can sustain itself for at least 10 more years in the Abujmad area straddling Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Telangana despite the increasing security operations. (Representational Image)

Senior Maoist Ramanna alias Vitthalanna Madru, who was arrested by Gadchiroli Police along with his wife on February 10, has said during questioning that the Maoist movement can sustain itself for at least 10 more years in the Abujmad area straddling Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Telangana despite the increasing security operations, said sources. According to sources, Ramanna, who was a member of Dandakaranya special zonal committee, has also said it is not lack of resources but leadership crisis in CPI (Maoist) that has the potential to bring the movement down.

Popularly known as Tech Ramanna due to his expertise in weapon manufacturing and training, Ramanna has been part of the Maoist movement since 1976 and has worked closely with senior leaders like late Kondapalli Seetharamaiah. According to investigators, he fell by the wayside due to his uncompromising attitude towards the rigid norms about marital life in CPI (Maoist). Ramanna, they said, would defy diktats that require working separately from his wife. The party had allowed the couple, who are in their sixties, to surrender before Telangana police. But police intercepted them on their way to Sikandarabad and arrested them.

“The discord has hardly diminished Ramanna’s conviction in the Maoist ideology. Whatever he has revealed during questioning needs to be taken very seriously,” a source told The Indian Express.

“Among the most important things he has told us is that the onslaught of security forces isn’t as much a matter of concern for the Maoist movement as leadership growth is. There is still a vast impregnable area with inaccessible hideouts under their command. There is no crunch of financial and other resources too,” the source said. “The current Central Committee has 18 functionaries who are growing old and no leadership is emerging to take over the party’s reins for the time when the movement will be faced with the final battle. Discord is growing fast and the party may cave in for internal reasons rather than any external factors,” Ramanna was quoted as saying.

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A small tablet and a pen drive has been recovered from Ramanna, but the investigators said the Maoists had deleted the contents before the couple was allowed to leave. “But there was a survey report compiled by Ramanna himself that showed how the party is fast losing support. The party hadn’t ordered the survey. Ramanna did it on his own to prove his point,” sources said.