Martyrdom : 26-09-2007
As part of building a movement demanding punishment of Grey hounds who had raped adivasi women in Vakapalli, comrades belonging to the Pedabayalu squad (AOB) had taken up a propaganda campaign. They went to Amidelu village as part of this campaign on September 26, 2007. The Grey hounds attacked them and in that attack Vijaya, Shakeela, Swetha and Jeevan were martyred.
Comrade Jartha Venkata Lakshmi (Vijaya)
Com. Venkatalakshmi was born in Daddilikivada in the Adivasi Kondareddy tribe in Y. Ramavaram mandal of East Godavari district She had a younger sister and brother. Her father died when she was in the third standard. Later her mother remarried. Like in all patriarchal societies, in the adivasi society too a woman who had remarried doesn’t have any rights over her children. As her mother went away to her new house, Vijaya and her old grandma took up the responsibility of her siblings. She went to work as a labourer in the fields and learnt all kinds of agricultural works. Songs were her only solace in a life full of travails and loneliness. Vijaya used to sing all kinds of folk songs and Christian devotional songs with great ease. Soon everybody in the village knew that she could not live without songs. She believed that Jesus Christ would one day come and end all their difficulties in life.
People used to get totally immersed in her devotional songs. She gradually began performing along with singing. Thus she developed into a natural artiste. One day the armed squad had come to her village and they sang new songs. Vijaya had never heard such songs. They introduced a new world to her. She could not forget those songs even after the squad had left. She loved the politics in those songs too. As a result, she joined the women’s organization. Soon, she developed into an active member. She opposed the village bad gentry courageously. In the course of participating in these activities, she developed herself into a full time activist.
As soon as she was recruited into the squad, this nightingale was immediately made a member of the JNM. Her entrance into JNM marked a new change in that work. She knew umpteen numbers of tunes of folk songs. So she used to teach them to the JNM comrades and song writers so that they could write lyrics for them. Thus she helped in the production of a wide variety of songs. Com. Vadkapur Chandramouli (CCM, martyr) had written a song on martyr Com. Mahesh (CCM, AP secretary) with the tune provided by Vijaya. She used to sing this song beautifully. She married a co-artiste in JNM in 2001. Both of them had written many more beautiful songs together. She learnt other adivasi languages and sang songs as if they were in her mother tongue. She was not confined to singing, she wrote many songs too.
She was an active participant in helping her comrades turn into good artistes. She gradually developed herself and took up the responsibility of the commander of the JNM squad of Srikakulam district. As part of her work, she travelled to East Godavari, Visakha, Koraput, Vizianagaram, Rayagada, Gajapathi and Malkangiri districts and tried to understand the culture of the people in those areas. She worked for some time as the commander of the Deruvada squad. Later she became a part of the Malkangiri district movement. She participated in the movement against bauxite mining which served the interests of the imperialists.
The ruling classes had unleashed severe repression on the people and the Maoist party to suppress this people’s movement. The Grey hounds had raped adivasi women as part of this repressive campaign. Vijaya was involved in building a movement demanding punishment of Grey hounds who had raped adivasi women in Vakapalli. As part of this work, she and her comrades belonging to the Pedabayalu squad had taken up a propaganda campaign.
They went to Amidelu village as part of this campaign on September 26, 2007. The Grey hounds attacked them and in that attack Vijaya was martyred along with Shakeela, Swetha and Jeevan. The bodies of comrades Swetha and Shakeela were taken by their families and cremated. Com. Jeevan’s body was taken by the people of his village and cremated. But even after three days, nobody from Vijaya’s family came to claim her body. So people of some villages went to the station and after arguing severely with the police, were about to take her body with them. At that juncture her relatives came and took her body and cremated her. People conducted memorial meetings for Amidelu martyrs. They sang songs sung by Vijaya in her remembrance.
Comrade Nagamani (Shakeela)
Nagamani (22) was born in a poor adivasi family in Mullumetta village under Rintada panchayat of G.K. Veedhi mandal in Visakha district Though her parents were poor they sent her to school facing economic difficulties. She was an intelligent child and had studied up to tenth standard, staying in a social welfare hostel in G.K. Veedhi. She joined the Radical Students Union there and worked actively in the student movement. She increased her political awareness in this work and gradually decided to dedicate her life for the revolution. She became a PR in 2002. In the beginning she worked in the Mahila team. She fulfilled all the tasks assigned to her with great dedication.
She participated actively in mobilizing women into anti- arrack struggle in Korukonda area. She saw to it that all the AVMS units she guided worked actively and in a creative manner. She won the confidence of the people especially of women in the area and developed into a party member and then into an ACM. Com. Shakeela was physically very strong. She was a hard worker too. She was not only strong physically but mentally too. In fact, this strength of hers had turned her into a good soldier who could fight with the enemy bravely. She fought the enemy valiantly and actively in many encounters. She was a good pilot too. During repression, she used to avoid the old pathways and took the squad adeptly through new terrain which had no pathways at all.
She was always very careful in taking technical precautions. Shakeela was very interested in songs and had a melodious voice too. She used to mesmerize people with her songs when she worked in the student and women’s organizations. Due to her cultural talents, she was given the responsibility of the newly formed small JNM team for some days. She had a remarkable service nature which was worthy of a communist. So she worked as a doctor of the Korukonda squad for some time. She used to serve the people with patience while she worked as the doctor. She gained the love and confidence of the people as a doctor. When the Grey hounds attacked them at Amidelu, Shakeela was washing her face. She tried to reach for her weapon amidst raining bullets but she could not. She was martyred in that rapid firing. Let us imbibe her communist qualities of initiative, dedication and courage.
Comrade Kumbe Rajulamma (Swetha)
Rajulamma (18) was born in Cherlapalli village in G. Madugula mandal of Visakha district She could not go to school as they were very poor. Her parents married her off while she was as young as ten years old by taking thousand rupees as bride price as was the custom there. As a result she had to face the harassment of her in-laws from such a young age. Though she was beaten and abused she stayed there as she had no other way. At that juncture, party came to that village.
Learning of party politics she understood that she need not tolerate her harassment at her in-laws home. She wanted to share all her problems with the squad as they seemed very close to her. So she escaped from her home and went to meet the squad. She had tried for two months and finally got hold of the squad contact. She poured out her heart to the guerillas. She refused to go back in spite of the guerillas trying to convince her. Finally the guerillas relented.
They asked her to work in the local women’s organization and gave her the responsibility of campaigning. Gradually she increased her consciousness and came into the squad as a full timer. Within a few days of her recruitment, repression became severe. Attacks by the enemy increased. She fought the enemy in two of those attacks. Within a few days, she became a crucial comrade in the squad. She learnt to read and write with lot of interest. She fulfilled the tasks allotted to her patiently. Swetha was martyred on September 26 in the Grey hound attack on them at Amidelu.