Top leader of the proscribed Communist Party of India (Maoist) in Karnataka B.G. Krishnamurthy has reportedly returned to the State after he had disappeared more than three years ago and was reported to have moved to forests in Wayanad district in Kerala with his wife - Comrade Hosagadde Prabha.
The couple has been underground for several years. They had multiple health issues and were finding it difficult to seek medical treatment in Karnataka.
“Krishnamurthy and Prabha were recently sighted in Karnataka after many years. At one point there were rumours of their death. The reason for their return to the State is not known. They are keeping a low profile,” said an official source on condition of anonymity.
The Maoist leader is heading the Western Zonal Committee with armed support from another Naxal leader Vikram Gowda, who is not known to have moved his base out of the State. Krishnamurthy and Prabha’s return to Karnataka has rattled the State police and the Anti-Naxal Force (ANF), which has been keeping a close watch on the Naxalites in Karnataka.
“There has been a decline in the Naxal movement in the State in the absence of any pressing issues. Many of the underground (UG) cadres have responded to the State government’s surrender and rehabilitation policies and have surrendered. They have been mainstreamed in society. After the encounter of Saket Rajan in 2005 the armed Left wing extremist movement in Karnataka started weakening,” said the officer. Besides Krishnamurthy, Prabha and Vikram Gowda the names of three other active Maoist cadres – Mundgaru Latha, Vanajakshi and Angadi Pradeep figure topmost on the list of the Intelligence and police.
In May 2015 Krishnamurthy was reported dead in a freak accident in the forest near Sringeri and in 2011 Prabha, who was critically ill gave the Bengaluru City police a miss after she was admitted in a hospital under the name of Susheela.
She slipped out of the hospital and later her supporters floated the story of her death to hoodwink the police. Krishnamurthy hails from Bukkadibail in Sringeri taluk and had succeeded Nelagudi Padmanabha and Saket Rajan, who has been the most celebrated Naxal activist in the state in the last decade.
He was gunned down in an encounter at Menasinahadya in 2005. Prabha alias Netra, Vindhu, Sandhya and Madhu, belong to Hosagadde village of Thirthahalli in Shivamoga and has been an active Naxal leader in the Western Ghats for nearly 15 years. She carries a reward of Rs 5 lakh on her head.