Mallojula Koteswara Rao

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Mallojula Koteswara Rao
Born 26 November 1956
Karimnagar district, Andhra Pradesh, India
Died 24 November 2011 (aged 54)
West Bengal, India
Nationality  India
Other names Kishenji, Prahlad, Murali, Ramji and Sridhar
Organization Communist Party of India (Maoist)
Spouse(s) Sujata[1]

Mallojula Koteswara Rao (26 November 1956 - 24 November 2011 [2]), commonly known by his nom de guerre Kishenji, was a Politburo member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and the group's military leader.[1][3][4] He had previously used Prahlad, Murali, Ramji, Jayant and Sridhar as aliases Wp→.[5] He claimed responsibility for the Silda camp attack in 2010. He was active in Lalgarh area of West Bengal.

Born in Karimnagar district Wp→ of Andhra Pradesh, was among the founders of the People's War Group there in 1980. He oversaw the People's War Group's merger with the Maoist Communist Centre of India to form the CPI(Maoist).[1]

On 24 November 2011, Kishenji was killed in an encounter Wp→ by the joint forces at Burisole forest in West Midnapore district, West Bengal, India.[6]

Early Life

Kishenji was born in Karimnagar in Andhra Pradesh (AP). In 1973, after a BSc mathematics degree, he moved to Hyderabad in to pursue law. His political journey began with his involvement in the Telangana Sangarsh Samiti, which had been pressing for a separate Telangana state. He launched the Radical Students Union (RSU) in AP. He became a full-time member of the People's War Group in 1974. During the Emergency in 1975, he went underground to take part in the revolution. Several things motivated him: Writer Varavara Rao, who founded the Revolutionary Writers Association, India’s political atmosphere and the progressive environment in which he grew up. His father was a great democrat and a freedom fighter, also vice-president of the state Congress party. He was Brahmin, but his family never believed in caste. When he joined the CPI (ML), his father left the Congress saying two kinds of politics can’t survive under one roof. His father believed in socialism, but not in armed struggle. After the Emergency ended in 1977, Kishenji led a democratic peasant movement against feudalism. Over 60,000 farmers joined it. It triggered a nationwide peasant uprising.

During search operations in 1982, the police broke down his home in Peddapalli village. He could never see his mother since, but wrote to her through Telugu newspapers. After 20 years in the Naxal belt of Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, he relocated to West Bengal and went on to emerge as the most prominent Maoist leader in eastern India. He is believed to be among the prime movers of the proposal to merge the People's War Group with the Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCCI), which led to the formation of the CPI (Maoist) in 2004. His wife oversees Maoist operations in Dantewada.

He strengthened the organisation in Bengal and became an important member of the outfit's eastern region bureau. His stature grew in the tribal hinterland of Bengal called Jungalmahal, bordering Jharkhand and he emerged as the undisputed czar, chief, king comrade and head-don of the Maoists.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Flood, Derek Henry (2010). "Kishenji:A Profile of the Leader of the Indian Maoist Insurgency". Militant Leadership Monitor (The Jamestown Foundation) 1 (4): 8–11. Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  2. Maoist leader Kishenji killed in encounter: Reports. Hindustan Times. URL accessed on 2011-11-24.
  3. Basak, Sanjay. "Kishenji calling: Wrong number", Deccan Chronicle Wp→, 28 February 2010. Retrieved on 7 April 2010. 
  4. "Kishenji claims responsibility for attack", The Times Of India, 15 February 2010. 
  5. "List of hardcore naxals prepared", The Hindu, 29 December 2002. Retrieved on 7 April 2010. 
  6. Maoist leader Kishenji killed in West Bengal

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