Vijayawada, Nov 3 In a dramatic turn of events, the Revolutionary Writers Association (RWA) tonight announced that CPI (Maoist) top leader Akkiraju Haragopal alias Ramakrishna alias RK was "safe", barely hours after his wife Sireesha alleged in the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad that her husband was in police custody.
RWA is considered one of the frontal organisations of the Maoists. RWA leader Varavara Rao called Telugu television news channels over phone and announced in Hyderabad that RK was "safe" but did not give any details about his whereabouts or his physical condition.
The late night announcement brought to an end the 10-day-old suspense and anxiety over RK's state as there were allegations from Maoists' frontal organisations and civil liberties groups that he might have been killed by the police in the October 24 encounter on the Andhra-Odisha border.
Subsequently, these organisations alleged that RK was being held captive by the police and expressed apprehension that he too might be bumped off in a false encounter.
Incidentally, RK's son Munna was among the 24 outlaws who were killed in the exchange of fire with police, a joint operation by AP's Greyhound and Odisha special police. All along, the AP police maintained that RK was not in their custody and they were not even sure if he was present at the encounter spot on that day.
In fact, the AP police chief said they were ready to provide required medical treatment for RK if at all he was injured in the exchange of fire.
"We stand vindicated, now that they announced RK is safe. These organisations and people should now explain on what basis they made the allegation that RK is in our custody," AP Director General of Police (in charge) Nanduri Sambasiva Rao told PTI.
"They have clearly misled the court. If they have information about the whereabouts of RK, they should at least tell the court. He is wanted by the police in several criminal cases," Rao said, adding that they (frontal organisations) cannot escape by merely announcing that RK is safe.
Earlier in the day, the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad directed the petitioner to produce evidence that RK could be in police custody even as the police informed the court that the allegation was false and that the Maoist top leader was not detained by them. The case was then adjourned for two weeks.