Yesterday, OpIndia.com broke the news that Chhattisgarh Police has secured the arrest of Narayan Venkat Rao alias Narayan Murthy, a highly placed government functionary who has been arrested for his connection to Naxals after surrendered Maoist Pahad Singh tipped them off.
OpIndia.com was also told that Venkat Rao’s brother is the President of PUCL, Hyderabad. Although we could not independently verify the claim of his association with PUCL, we learnt that his brother, N Narayan Rao, is the general secretary at Civil Liberties Committee (CLC), Telangana.
The CLC, earlier called the Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee (APCLC), has a long history of its members being arrested for links to Naxals. Two of its ‘activists’ were arrested in December 2004 by the Warangal Police after they were allegedly found moving with armed Maoists.
In 2009, an APCLC ‘activist’ was arrested on charges of assisting Maoists in the murder of ZP vice-chairman Samida Ravishankar in 2007. In 2012, Andhra Police arrested 2 APCLC activists along with 18 members of Chetna Natya Manch (CNM), a Maoist ‘cultural’ outfit.
The Police claimed that members of the CNM had arrived at Hyderabad from Khammam on the invitation of the APCLC members to create awareness among people against encounter of civilians by anti-Maoist forces.
In 2003, Andhra Pradesh Police had arrested three APCLC activists in connection with an attack on Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu including the outfit’s Chittoor district president Hari Prasad, a move that was condemned by an organization it is associated with, Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR).
In 2014, the Police in Hyderabad stopped Pratyamnaya Rajakeeya Vedika (Forum for Political Alternative) from holding a meeting, asserting that it’s a frontal organisation of a banned Maoist Party.
Varavara Rao, one of the leaders of the forum, was among the 50 leaders and activists who were arrested by the Police. As per the High Commissioner of Police, the High Court had denied permission to the forum to hold the meeting. In the recent arrest of the government official who was a Naxal, IG GP Singh confirmed that Narayan Venkat Rao was in touch with Varavara Rao.
Chilaka Chandrashekar, the General Secretary of APCLC, and other members of the organization were also detained as per the statement released by the members of various organizations working under CDRO. As per reports, according to Intelligence agencies, Varavara Rao, which the APCLC appears to have links with, attended the funeral of a Maoist killed in Gadrichholi last year and also attended a meeting to commemorate the first death anniversary of slain Maoist commander Kapuka Prabhakar.
The Warangal police in July arrested district CLC Secretary Penta Ramesh Chandar, for allegedly being a ‘courier for Maoists’. For its part, the CLC alleged that police were trying to frame Ramesh.
As we have mentioned in our previous reports, the CLC is a coordinating organization working under the umbrella organization, CDRO. The PUCL is also a coordinating member of the CDRO and has intimate links with the arrested ‘Urban Naxals’. It is part of the Right to Food Campaign as well that has launched an attack on Akshaya Patra for the latter’s mid-day meals.