Bhopal: Top Naxal leader Ganapathy who has recently relinquished his position as Maoist general secretary due to ill health, was suspected to have fled to the Philippines.
Naxal commander Mupalla Laxman Rao alias Ganapathy escaped to Nepal and then fled to the Philippines from there, a senior police officer of Chhattisgarh disclosed to this newspaper on Friday requesting anonymity.
“We are keeping a watch on the development. Phone calls of senior Naxal leaders believed to be in touch with Ganapathy are being intercepted to trace his hideout in the Philippines”, the Intelligence officer of the Chhattisgarh police said.
Intelligence sources said he was undergoing treatment in his hideout in the Philippines. Ganapathy, 71, has a long association with People’s War Group (PWG), which later took the form of Maoists following mergers with other wings.
The Naxal commander who carried a bounty of Rs 2.52 crore by several state governments and Central forces, was elected general secretary of PWG in 1992. He later became Maoist general secretary in 1992 and retained the position till November 10, 2018, when he was replaced by Nambala Keshav Rao alias Basavaraj, the military head of the outlawed outfit.
A press release issued by the Maoist central committee this month said Ganapathy had volunteered to step down from his position due to ill health. The press release dated November 10 but released on November 28, said Ganapathy’s recommendation to relieve him of his charge has been endorsed by the central committee.
Basavaraj, now 63, is a native of Jiyannapetta village in Srikakulum district in Andhra Pradesh. The new chief of Maoists is known for being an expert in explosives and military tactics. He has been underground for the last 28 years.