In what could be termed as a big jolt to the leadership of Left Wing Extremists (LWEs) operating in the Andhra Pradesh - Odisha border, top Maoist leader Akki Raju Hargopal alias Ramakrishna alias RK reportedly died of kidney failure and other ailments on Friday.
The news of his death was confirmed by the Central Committee of the banned outfit CPI (Maoist) through a press release on Friday. The committee claimed to have cremated his body as well.
Nevertheless, RK's death came as a welcome relief to the security forces of both Odisha and Andhra Pradesh as he was carrying a bounty of Rs 1 Crore on his head.
Inspector General of Bastar, Sundar Raj P said, "RK died while undergoing treatment in the jungles of south Bastar. The extremist group has also accepted the fact and issued a press release in this connection."
Declared the most wanted Maoist by the NIA, RK was the mastermind behind the kidnapping of IAS officer R Vineel Krishna (2005 batch), former collector of Malkangiri in February 2011.
He had also actively participated in raids on District Police Armoury in Koraput town in 2004, led the ambush on Greyhound Commandos of Andhra Pradesh Police in Balimela of Malkangiri on June 29, 2008, where 38 commandos of the elite force were killed.
His notoriety had earned him the nick name of Saket in his operational area which was the erstwhile cut off area of Malkangiri and now Swabhiman Anchal.
RK was born in 1958 in Guntur in Andhra Pradesh and had briefly worked as a school teacher after graduation. His father was also a school headmaster. He was a BTech graduate from NIT Warangal and had gone underground after joining the People's War Group (PWG) in 1978 before joining the CPI (Maoist) in his later years.