Women Martyrs of the Indian Revolution-Gunukuralla Martyrs

Martyrdom : 17-04-2005


Comrade Santi (Malleswari)

Com. Malleswari (20) was born in Syamagadda village of Gudem mandal of Visakha district. Since her father died when she was still a child, she had to take up family responsibilities at a young age. She worked as a wage laborer along with her mother. She had a younder brother. She used to do all kinds of works in the fields including ploughing. She studied till 5th standard even while doing all these works. She came into Korukonda squad contact when she was still a child.

She used to do the works given by the squad. She took up difficult tasks too and did not hesitate to travel in darkness. Thus she got the training to work while safeguarding the party secrets from her childhood. Gradually she joined the militia and also worked for some time with the JNM squad. She was in protection duty for the militia camp in September 2004 and fulfilled her duties well. She opposed forceful marriage at home and joined the Korukonda squad after attending the recruitment camp in October 2004.

She came to know that some persons are planning to take her away to forcefully get her married and so she escaped and joined the squad. She used to participate in all the works of the squad very actively. In spite of ill health she used to participate in all works. She used to carry heavy luggages. She mingled well with the people. Santi was never shy and spoke with confidence in meetings. She spoke against discrimination of women and used to exhort men to do house work too.

Since she studied upto 5th standard, she could read and she used to read party literature with lot of attention and interest. She encouraged other comrades too and also read to them. Santi mobilized people into the anti arrack struggle conducted in their area. She participated in destruction of arrack depots and brandy shops. She was part of this struggle in Korpalli and Siribala blocks. She participated in people’s courts where wrong doers who harassed women were punished. She worked with good initiative in mobilizing people on various issues.

She escaped during an encounter in Gaddibanda in January 2005, spent three days alone in bushes and finally met the squad again. She never lost her spirit. Santi was worried about her mother who had to live alone working as a labourer. But she knew only revolution can ensure good life for such poor people. On the day of the Gunukuralla encounter she was seriously ill with fever. In spite of her condition, she immediately took up her weapon.

But she believed the enemy when he said he would spare them if they laid down their guns. She left her gun and lifted up her hands. The police asked her to come nearer with her hands up and then rid her body with bullets. This was a great lesson for the comrades who believe the enemy in such situations. This active comrade was killed brutally by the police at Gunukuralla on April 17, 2005. Let us pledge to avenge her death.

Comrade Nirmala

Nirmala (20) was born in the village Mondigadda of Chintapalli mandal of Visakha district. Since she was from a poor family she used to work hard from childhood. She had to take up many household responsibilities from a young age. During the ‘Talks’ period, Korukonda squad entered their village for the first time. She joined the squad during the ‘Talks’ period. She too joined the squad to escape forceful marriages like many other women comrades. She took up the responsibility of woman work in the squad. Within a few days time she participated actively in the women organization activities.

Nirmala worked actively to moblilize women in the rally against arrack which was held in Chintapalli as part of the anti arrack struggle and in destroying arrack and brandy shops. Though her revolutionary life was not too long, she had participated very actively in all the activities. She mobilized women in destroying gud and toddy used for making liquor. She had a role in putting up posters and conducting meetings in Lankapakala to increase wages of coffee plantation labourers. When jeep drivers harassed women, they took them to task and Nirmala was with them. Her brother was not happy that she too joined the squad like him.

When he asked her why she came, she said, ‘you do your struggle and I would do mine’. She learnt to read and write in the party and took lot of interest in educating herself. On April 17th 2005, near Gunuguralla the squad came under a police attack. During the attack one of the villagers urged her to escape along with him. But she chose to heroically fight the enemy and laid down her precious life in that battle. Nirmala joined the numerous martyrs within a short period of her revolutionary life. Let us pay homage to her with bowed heads.


Comrade Anita

(Korram Salo) Com. Korra Salo was born in a poor family in Bonampally village of Gudem mandal of Visakha district. Both her parents died and so she used to work as a daily wage labourer along with her two sisters and a brother and earned her livelihood. Her village was under influence of the movement since 1984. All sangams were active in the village and it falls under the Korukonda squad. The village stood firm in repression too. Com. Anitha joined the Bal Sangam (children’s organization) when she was still a child. After she grew up she joined the woman militia. She went to villages and conducted meetings and increased the political awareness of the people.

She opposed forced marriages and propagated against toddy drinking. She exhorted men to participate in house work. She participated in the struggles for increase in wages of coffee plantation labourers and fair prices for coffee seeds. Later she joined the squad in 2001 during a militia campaign. At first she worked in the JNM squad. Later she worked in the Galikonda area for some time. Then she worked in the Galikonda special squad for some days. When Gurthedu squad was reconstituted, she was sent as a member of that squad. All three members in that squad were women. At first they were doubtful about how people would receive them. They went and developed contacts with the people. Since all of them were women, the men in the villages were reluctant to do sentry for them at first. They withstood many such hurdles and gained hold over the area.

Anita’s effort was main in converting that area into ‘revolutionary’ area. Anita worked very hard in building the memorial column of Com. Rajesh who was martyred in 2003 at Pathakota. She mobilized people while going around the villages in civil dress. During ‘Talks’ she participated actively in the inauguration meeting of Darakonda Martyrs Column. While she was in Gurtedu squad, she used to accompany the women organizer of that area.

She used to mingle very actively with the women and enquire about their problems. The party observed her interest in this field and so she was transferred to Chitrakonda squad and given responsibility of the woman work there. She was in the EC of the divisional committee of the AVMS. She participated in military actions too. Anita withstood all kind of rigours in a revolutioanary’s life. Especially she stood firm in the severe repression period in 2001 and 2002. In 2003 and 2004, the enemy succeeded in making her villagers surrender. Even sangam members who had served as her inspiration had also surrendered.

When her sister surrendered, she criticized her. Ramulamma worked in Mahila Sangam and was Anita’s relative too. She also came under enemy’s influence. But Anita was not confused with all this. She conducted a meeting in her village and explained about the tactics of the enemy and asked them to stand by the movement. She longed to keep her family on the side of the revolution. The squad consisting of Anitha and five other members was camping near the village Gunukuralla on April 17 th , 2005. Sixty policemen surrounded them and opened fire.

While retreating Anitha saw that the squad commander Com. Ramana was firing by taking position there. She thought she cannot leave him to fight alone there and so she came back and started firing to give cover fire to the commander by taking postion. She was martyred in that heroic battle with the enemy. In this encounter the commander Ramana, Comrades Nirmala and Santhi were martyred. Anita’s memories will remain forever in our hearts teaching us how to stand by the movement and comrades.

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