The handover of Muttannagari Jalandhar Reddy aka Krishna, a high-ranking member of the CPI (Maoist) Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC), is a severe blow to the Maoist movement in the border region.
The Maoist leader, who had a bounty of around £ 20 on his head, is said to have been a trained military strategist and played a key role in many ambushes, including overcoming the Balimela ambush in 2008 that killed 38 greyhound commandos .
He was one of the few committed executives in the region with an RSU (Radical Student Union) background and was ideologically very strong.
According to a senior police officer, he was seen for his organizational and leadership skills and had the potential to rise to the level of the Maoist Central Committee.
Most importantly, in recent years, especially after the extinction of almost the entire leadership of the MKVB division (Malkangiri-Koraput Visakhapatnam Border) at the Ramaguda encounter in 2016, it has grown in importance and together with Aruna in the AOB region was in charge.
According to sources in the secret services, the leadership of AOB is now with Aruna, since he is gone. Sources say that AOBSZC’s secretary Gajarla Ravi aka Uday is ill and dependent on insulin and that he and Central Committee member Akkiraju Haragopal aka Ramakrishna aka RK have been operating from Chhattisgarh for some time.
It is said that Krishna had a good knowledge of the terrain and culture of the Adivasis on both sides of the border – Galikonda region on the Andhra side and Gumma region in the restricted area on the Odisha side.
In fact, according to some confiscated documents, Krishna and Aruna were given the task of overseeing the revival of the movement in the Galikonda area, where they lost their footing.
But Krishna had been forced by the aggressive movement of the security forces on both sides of the border to base the Gumma region in order to consolidate the cut off region.
With the movement already on the downtrend and Krishna himself claiming the recruitment has dried up, his surrender is seen as a severe blow to the movement in the AOB region.