One of the most-wanted central committee members of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) and his wife surrendered before the Telangana Police in Hyderabad on Friday evening. The 57-year-old Maoist leader, Jinugu Narasimha Reddy alias Jampanna alias JP, told police that he was suffering from several ailments and was holed up at Kandhamal in Odisha before he decided to surrender.
He approached a leader of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in Warangal, who facilitated the surrender through the Mahbubabad District Superintendent of Police N Koti Reddy. Telangana Police called Jampanna’s surrender a “shot in the arm for security forces”. “For more than 20 years, this man was responsible for strengthening the Maoist movement in North Telangana districts and adjoining Dandakaranya area. He is very strong, both ideologically and in terms of military strategy,” an official said.
While Jampanna joined the Maoist outfit 34 years ago, his wife Hinge Rajita, who has an MSc degree from Osmania University, joined in 2003. The two got married three years later.
Jampanna, who carries a Rs 20 lakh reward on his head, hails from Cherlopalem village in the erstwhile Warangal district. His family owns 11.5 acres of prime wetland in the village.
After graduating in 1980 from the Zilla Parishad Secondary School at Cherlopalem and taking a one-year break, Jampanna joined the Industrial Training Institute at Mallepally near Hyderabad. He completed the course in 1983 and immediately joined the People’s War Group before going underground.
Police sources said that his health deteriorated in recent years. On December 16, 2014, he was nearly killed in an encounter with the Odisha Special Police in Telan forest near Kalahandi. Since then, he had been cooling his heels in Kandhamal, a well-protected Maoist turf.
According to a Telangana Police dossier, before he became a central committee member, Jampanna was the outfit’s North Telangana special zonal committee secretary. He also briefly headed the Odisha state committee, and was involved in several operations along the Chhattisgarh-Odisha border.
In the intervening night of January 14-15, 2005, Jampanna had a narrow escape when an anti-Maoist Greyhounds police team ambushed a Maoists meeting in a reserve forest area on the Warangal-Khammam border near Kamaram village. Since peace talks initiated by the then chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy were going on at the time, and ceasefire had been declared, the Maoists had their guard down. Telangana Rashtra Samithi district vice-president Nalla Vasanth, who was assisting the Maoists, was killed in the encounter. The Greyhounds ambush broke the fragile ceasefire, prompting the Maoists to resume hostilities.
The Telangana Police — and before that the police forces in undivided Andhra Pradesh — had been making appeals to Jampanna through his mother C Yashodamma, who lives in an old age home in Warangal, asking him to surrender. They started making the appeals after the anti-Maoist Special Intelligence Branch received information that Jampanna was trying to create a corridor to link Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh with Dantewada in Chhattisgarh through Odisha’s Koraput and Malkangiri districts. Such a corridor, security forces feared, would mean Maoists getting control over a large area and being able to move freely between the three states.
Even in 2004, after Jampanna’s father Malla Reddy died, cops had published letters written by his mother and brother in local newspapers, urging him to surrender.
The last time Jampanna was seen in public was in Kamalapur on May Day, 1990. He was spotted at the AP Rayons Factory, where revolutionary poet and writer Varavara Rao was also present to mediate between striking workers and the management. “He was the outfit’s central organiser and in-charge of Nagaram area. That was the last time he was seen in public. He must have been around 30 then,’’ Rao said.
Jampanna has 18 cases registered against him in the erstwhile Warangal district alone, including nine for murder, two for dacoity and three for exchange of fire with police. Officials said that he and his wife will receive the Rs 20 lakh reward money, as well as several benefits under the surrender policy of the Telangana government.