Martyrdom : 27-12-2006
Karuna (37) was born in a rich peasant family in Navabpet in Karimnagar district. She had two elder sisters and a brother. As her father had died when she was a child, her mother brought her up. Her maternal uncle sent her to college. Her cousin Mahender Reddy was working in RSU. She got introduced to revolutionary politics through him. Their elders thought that if both of them get married they would stay put at home. She was just 15, 16 years old when her marriage took place. Her partner Comrade Mahendar became a target for the police and their house was raided too. But Karuna was undeterred and became stronger in committment. She became a PR in 1986.
At first they worked as the technical staff in Hyderabad city. Though she was from a rich peasant family she used to be very frugal in the room because she thought every pie of the party belongs to the people and that it should be spent only when it is utterly necessary. Thus the young couple set good standards in maintaining party shelters. She took initiative to learn nursing while staying in the shelter. It was to serve as a cover, meet the expenses and also with the view that it will be useful to treat the guerillas as war advances. It was due to the meticulous care taken by them in maintaining the shelter with all precautions that safeguarded the leadership especially of the North Telangana movement which was the heart of our movement in those days. Never were any technical mistakes committed. Later Com. Mahendar was shifted to work in the workers’ field in Visakhapatnam district in the late 80s. So she too shifted with him. She continued to work as a nurse in a hospital and began meeting women in the nearby villages, factories and slums to work among them.
Their home once again served as a shelter to a few important comrades. She had cordial relations with the neighbours and maintained the cover so well that nobody had an iota of doubt that this nurse with a frail body and such a serene face could be a naxalite. During this period, she improved her nursing skills so well that she began to be given duty in the operation theatre too though she did not have a formal nursing certificate. Many were the gifts showered on her by the doctor and the patients she looked after, for her service. She established relations with working class women in the factories and was to concentrate on this work. But Com. Jaipal was killed in a fake encounter in 1994 by the police.
She was alone in the room when she heard the news but she had to hide it from her neighbours. So she faced the situation by putting a brave face and cried when she was alone. They had been a loving couple and it was not easy for her to bear his loss. But she immediately tried for the party contact and could get it only after some days. Meanwhile she had to face sexual harassment from the man of the home she took shelter in, while trying for the contact. She resisted his attempts and somehow finally got into party contact again. She put the proposal before the party that she would work in the squads. She was transferred to Srikakulam town where she strived to organize the women in the slum areas. She was sincere in each and every aspect and was eager to learn. Though she had certain difficulties and limitations as a woman working in cover in the towns, she fulfilled her responsibility with great patience.
From 1995, she worked in the Uddanam and Jhanjhavati squads in the district and mobilized people into struggles. She married Com. Vadkapur Chandramouli (BK) in 1996. Comrades BK and Karuna helped one another in their works. After she was transferred to the East Division in 1998, she went into the broad masses and organized them. She stood committed to the party line and could face any kind of hardship. She worked with great will despite hard terrain and ill health. She took up responsibility as the deputy commander and commander of Galikonda and worked for a long time. In that period she put great efforts to mobilize people into struggles. Due to these struggles, it became a good recruitment centre.
She gradually developed as the AC secretary of Korukonda in 2002 and was elected as a DVCM in mid-2003 in the divisional plenum. She was the first woman DVCM in the East Division. She tried hard to develop her capabilities according to her increasing responsibilities. She took up the study necessary for that. Once she worked as the commander, ACS and DVCM simultaneously due to encounters and surrenders in the severe repression. She became part of the Women’s Sub-Committee formed in AOB in mid-2004 to develop the women comrades and build a strong women’s movement. She represented the East Division in that committee. Her sensitive approach to women’s problems and keenness to fight patriarchy in any form were additional assets in this work. She was allotted completely for women work due to the importance of that work.
During the ‘Talks’ period, she went around the whole division to coordinating the women organizers and strenghthened the women’s organization. Women mobilized militantly in the anti-arrack struggles in that period and destroyed the brandy shops in Chintapalli. Women did rasta rokos on a vast scale protesting the killing of Manorama in Manipur by the security forces. All these were planned and implemented under her leadership. She conducted the first district conference of AVMS successfully and was elected as the East Divisional President of the AVMS. For the first time a divisional EC of AVMS was formed. She strived to the best of her efforts to build a broad mass movement and a broad women’s movement. Karuna was active in the military field too. She fought back the enemy as a commander when their squad was attacked. She was in the Koperdeng encounter and had retreated safely while defending the leadership comrades. She fought in the encounter at Pujariguda in February 2005 where the Mahila sub-committee meeting was being held.
She participated in many ambushes and in all the attacks which had a good impact in the AOB zone. She participated in the historic Koraput multi raid. Karuna fulfilled extremely difficult responsibilities as a doctor in many military actions. She treated the injured comrades amidst raining bullets with dedication. She developed as an experienced doctor of PLGA. Comrade Karuna was a member of One Assault team and the doctor of the total raiding party in Darakonda and Kalimela raids led by Com. BK. She provided medical help to the severely injured comrades in these incidents. One of the comrades hurt his fingers in firing. It was not an ordinary feat to revive his hand and she achieved it. She brought to life those comrades, who everyone thought would die of injuries. She treated the profusely bleeding comrades without tension, gave them great support and treated them with utmost patience.
She washed the clothes wet with blood and kept the patients in a clean condition always. She worked enthusiastically to bring them to normal condition so that they could continue as great fighters in the war front. When the injured comrades were talking about their problems, she was patient and courageous. On some occasions when the leadership was not available, she explained to them many political issues. Many comrades recovered due to her services. Karuna gave an understanding about political and health problems to the adivasi women and mainly regarding women’s health problems. She brought before the leadership the problems faced by the women and suggested solutions. She made very serious political effort to entrench the women comrades firmly in practice and to develop them.
Many persons were surrendering in the increasing repression and she was anxious to educate the cadre by teaching them the enemy tactics and revolutionary politics. She did not waver in her commitment to the revolution and never stepped back from her responsibilities even in one incident. Central Military Commission (CMC) had resolved to give Com. Karuna special training to develop a higher level medical department under her leadership, in view of the necessity of doctors’ teams for PLGA in the advancing people’s war. She was relieved from the division with this purpose and while she was on her way for the new work she was caught by the enemy. We lost a heroic, dedicated doctor who could have evolved into a skilled doctor like a Norman Bethune.
Comrades Vadkapur Chandramouli (BK) and Karuna were arrested by the Special Intelligence Bureau (SIB) police with prior information in a highly secret operation. In fact they were missing since 26th December 2006 when they left Durg town in Chhattisgarh. They were caught without anybody’s knowledge but the enemy could not obtain any secret information despite cruel torture for one whole day. The police got mad and killed Comrades BK and Karuna most cruelly in the forest of Gudem Kotha Veedhi mandal of Visakhapatnam district and repeated the tale of ‘encounter’. The story was floated in the media and their bodies were left in this place on 27th December. Com. Karuna knew about the scheduled Congress of the party but did not reveal a word despite severe tortures and died a heroic death. The whole party and the Congress paid their red homage to these great martyrs.
Whoever had seen Karuna would definitely wonder how her frail, delicate body would have endured such severe torture. Such is the spirit of a true communist! The nearly two decade long revolutionary life of Karuna is full of communist ideals which we have to imbibe if we have to successfully complete the revolution. It is a great loss to the movement to have lost such a senior woman leader and doctor when our war is advancing. Only by intensifying war we can pay our real red homage to her.