Vizag Rural police have finally got an idea how Chalapathi alias Appa Rao, top Maoist leader and East Division secretary, looks like. This is because they managed to retrieve a recent photo showling Chalapathi and his wife Aruna, deputy commander of the Koraput-Srikakulam Division Committee, from the laptop belonging to slain Maoist Azad. Now, they have made posters of the photo and splashed it all across the Agency area in the hope that they would be finally able to nab the elusive naxal leader and his wife.
Chalapathi carries a reward of Rs 20 lakh on his head, while Aruna carries a reward of Rs 5 lakh. As East Division secretary, Chalapathi is the topmost leader in this division which comprises Vizag and East Godavari. Azad, who happens to be the brother of Aruna, and two other naxals were shot dead in an encounter with Greyhounds personnel at Marripakulu in Koyyuru mandal of Vizag district on May 4 this year.
Apart from weapons and kit bags, cops claimed to have seized a laptop from the encounter site. "An examination of the laptop revealed that it belonged to Azad and contained among other things the photo of Chalapathi and Aruna. It is clear it was taken on a smartphone, most likely by Azad. He appears to be in his fifties and she in her forties," said police sources.
Until then, police had a blurry photo of Chalapathi taken in the nineties and had no clue how the Maoist leader would look like 20 years later. Now, armed with the recent photo of Chalapathi and his wife, cops have pasted the photo all over the agency area and expect to nab them soon.
According to the police sources, the Maoist cenrtal committee has given standing instructions to its leaders to ensure that there are no photographic evidence of them as they could land in the hands of the cops and compromise their life and location. "In this age of smartphones, WhatsApp and high-speed internet connectivity, carrying a photo of a top leader in a laptop is a big slip on the part of the naxals," said the sources.