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AP police foil Maoist bid to kill UoH VC

AP police foil Maoist bid to kill UoH VC
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The East Godavari police on Saturday claimed to have foiled a Maoist plot to kill University of Hyderabad Vice-Chancellor Podile Appa Rao with the arrest of two persons in Khammam district.

Kakinada: The East Godavari police on Saturday claimed to have foiled a Maoist plot to kill University of Hyderabad Vice-Chancellor Podile Appa Rao with the arrest of two persons in Khammam district.

Disclosing the details at a press meet here, East Godavari SP Vishal Gunni said the duo was arrested at Pitchukulapadu Junction on Bhadrachalam—Cherla road on Friday. The accused -- Ankala Prudviraj (27), a resident of Himaja Constructions, Sai Srinivas Nagar in Kesanapalli village of Krishna district and Chandan Kumar Mishra (28) of Howrah in West Bengal -- were allegedly returning from Bastar forests after meeting Yapa Narayana alias Haribhushan, the secretary of Telangana State Committee of CPI (Maoist).

Prudhviraj is an LLB student of Siddardha Law College, Vijayawada. Earlier, he studied degree in HCU between 2010-2013. Chandan Kumar Misra is a resident of Surya Nivas, Howrah, who had studied BA with political science in Scottish Church College. In the year 2013, he joined a postgraduate course in UoH. In December 2017, along with Amul Singh of Ludhiana, he met Haribhushan at Charla through a person working in Telangana Vidyarthi Vedika. In January 2018, they all met in a forest at Venkatapuram area.

The police said the duo was tasked to kill the Vice-Chancellor in view of the ‘antagonism’ among students against Appa Rao after the suicide of Dalit research scholar Rohit Vemula in the university three years ago. The Maoist leadership believed that the assassination of the Vice-Chancellor would help them attract fresh recruits into the outfit from the university.

The arrested had studied in the University of Hyderabad and were attracted towards the Maoist-Leninist ideology. Prudviraj was stated to have earlier been arrested by the police after he was caught escorting a woman believed to be the wife of Pulluri Prasada Rao, alias Chandranna. He was jailed for some time and was released on bail. Prudviraj was also a member of the Telangana Vidyarthi Vedika.

Chandan Kumar Mishra hailed from Howrah in West Bengal and had joined the Central University in 2013 for a postgraduate course. He was a member of the Telangana Praja Front and SFI. He later joined the CPI (Maoist).

In December last, Chandan Mishra was stated to have met Haribhushan in Cherla area through another person working in the Telangana Vidya Vedika. Later in January, both Prudviraj and Chandan Mishra met Haribhushan in a forest area between Cherla and Venkatapuram areas with the help of a Maoist courier.

Haribhushan, it was stated, explained the party’s ideology and asked them to ensure recruitment from the UoH into the party. During these discussions, the suicide of Rohit Vemula came up and they decided that if the VC was killed “in the name of Maoists”, there was a possibility of attracting many students into the party fold.

Later, the duo went to the forest area on being summoned by Haribhushan. The Maoist leader was stated to have told them that it was time to kill the VC and handed over some letterheads to be dropped at the place of offence. The police nabbed them while they were returning to the city, the police said. Yetapala OSD KKN Anburajan, Additional SP Y Ravi Shankar Reddy, Sub-Divisional Officer and Inspector Chintoor of Yetapaka were present at the press meet.

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