Mallojula Venugopal Rao, alias Bhupathi, the chief of the Central Regional Bureau (CRB) of the CPI (Maoist) and the younger brother of the slain Maoist leader Mallojula Koteswar Rao Kishen has replaced his brother as the secretary of the West Bengal division.
At the meeting of the Central Committee (CC) held in the jungles of Paderu in the Visakhapatnam district early this week, the top guns attended the People’s Liberation Guerilla Army celebrations and there, confirmed the appointment of Venugopal as the secretary of the West Bengal division .
“This is only a temporary arrangement as Bhupathi was aware of the programs and strategies followed by Kishenji. We need him to continue the leadership in the CRB which is facing stiff hostility from the Green Hunt forces,” said a release by the Maoist spokesman Abhay after the celebrations.
According to intelligence sources Bhupathi has entered West Bengal and is presently camping in the Kanaihole forests of the West Midnapore district. He is guarded by a 25- member armed dalam selected by the CC who have been chosen from the five action squads of the PGLA.
Sources in security agencies say that Bhupathi is a good commander who marshals his resources well. Like his elder brother, Bhupathi is also a trained guerrilla and is adept at combat movement. Bhupathi had joined the movement along with his brother and was also elevated to the level of a Politburo like Kishenji. He had moved into the Junglemahal after Kishenji was injured in a gun battle in 2010.
As chief of CRB and the South Western Regional Bureau, Bhupathi has the reins of the party and movement in his hands in the states of Maharashtra, Orissa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka. The North Telangana Special Zonal Committee, Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee and Andhra Pradesh Orissa Border will also be under him. Sources said that the Naxals are consolidating under Bhupathi in the central Indian region with Abujhmarh, straddling between Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, as their nerve centre.
“They already have put in place a contingency plan to move their key personnel and resources and have mobilized tribal companies and provided them military training ‘, said a spokesman.