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31 years old Tappalapur case to be reopened

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 28, 2007

Hyderabad, September 28: Nearly thirty one years after the killing of four persons in the historic “Tappalapur village raid”, which changed the course of Naxalite movement in the country, a top Maoist leader Tushar Kant Bhattacharya will be facing trial in the case in Adilabad shortly.

Mr. Bhattacharya alias Sri Kant, one of the senior most Maoist leaders in the country, was arrested from a hideout in Dujra locality in Patna recently. Mr. Bhattacharya, who hailed from Kagaznagar of Adilabad, worked along with Kondapalli Seetaramaiah, founder of People’s War Group and Ganapathy, the present secretary of the CPI (Maoist). At the time of arrest, Mr. Bhattacharya was looking after the Maoist movement in Uttarkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Uttar Bihar, known as the ‘Triple U’ in Maoist parlance.

Police sources say that Mr. Bhattacharya will now have to face the trial in Tappalapur case and some criminal cases registered against him in Venkatapur police station of Khammam. These cases were treated as Long Pending Cases by the courts and closed.

The Tappalapur raid on November 11, 1976 is extremely significant in naxalite movement since it marked the beginning of a phase of intense violence which forced scores of landlord families in Adilabad and Karimnagar to flee villages. Among the 16 accused persons in the case were Kondapalli Seetaramaiah, Muppala Laxmana Rao, Nalla Adi Reddy and Tushar Kant Bhattacharya.

Despite the severe repression during the Emergency, revolutionary movement was picking up momentum in 1976 under the name of Central Organising Committee (COC) and that was the period when an ideological debate was on over the line to be adopted by revolutionary cadres.

While some preferred to follow the pro-Lin Piao line (total focus on annihilation of class enemy), the second trend was on negating the entire tactical line of CPI-ML and participating in parliamentary democracy; and the combining of class enemy annihilation with the mass line.

Naxalite cadres who rallied with Kondapalli Seetaramaih opted for the third line and the ‘Tappalapur attack’ was interpreted as the incident which provided the boost to revolutionary movement. Initially, the naxalite leaders planned to ‘annihilate’ the landlords (Doras). They raided the ‘gadi’ of Rajeshwara Rao in Maddunuru near Jagitial of Karimnagar, but the landlord managed to run away. Following this, the naxal leaders targeted Gone Venkata Pithambar Rao, an MLA during 1957–62 of Tappalapur in the neighbouring Adilabad district.

On September 25, 1976, sixteen naxal leaders armed with axes and knives raided his house, stabbed Vennamaneni Gopala Rao, a clerk working with Pithambar Rao and Dr. Sampath Kumar, G.V. Subhash (both sons of the landlord), Puppala Kondal Rao, police patel and Kammala Ashok, son of the sarpanch.

After the Tappalapur raid, the naxal team headed to the nearby Timmapur village where they axed to death Kammela Venkati and raided the house of Mylarapu Shankaraiah where they burnt wads of promissory notes. Later in another village, they attacked Jamboji Narayana holding him responsible for arrest of naxalite Kista Gowd.

The series of violent incidents in Adilabad, Karimnagar, Khammam and Warangal led to such a scare that landlords fled the villages. Subsequently, after the Emergency was lifted, the naxalite cadres temporarily suspended the armed struggle and concentrated on building up a mass movement by launching ‘back to the villages’ by 1978.


It was this campaign that strengthened the naxalite movement and subsequently in 1980 the ideologues formed the CPI-ML (People’s War) which spread revolutionary activity to almost all over the State before merging with the Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCCI) on September 21, 2003 to form the present Communist Party of India (Maoist).

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