11 July 2017
Paritala Ravindranath Chowdary, popularly known as Paritala Ravi, well known to the people of Rayalaseema region in Andhra Pradesh. People from other regions also very familiar with his name because of media and also from the movies like Ram Gopal Varma’s controversial Raktha Charitra series etc.
Though Paritala Ravi was already a renowned figure in the Anantapuram area, he received a statewide attention when a bomb blast was planned to kill him inside the Ramoji Film City. This was plotted during the inauguration of a Telugu Cinema shooting based on his father, Paritala Sri Ramulu’s life, lead role was played by Mohan Babu. In this incident, many innocent people have lost their lives. Paritala Ravi who was the main target was survived and also, himself, his history, region’s faction and gang culture, his enemies, their histories, fully brought into the spotlight. Also, Maddelacheruvu Suri who plotted the attack on Paritala Ravi has also become famous with this incident.
Paritala Ravi’s story starts from a village called, Venkatapuram, which comes under Nasanakota Panchayati in Ramagiri Mandal, Penukonda constituency of Anantapur district. Ravi was born to Sri Ramulu and Narayanamma. Paritala Ravi’s father Sri Ramulu was a land lord in Venkatapuram, he was influenced Kondapalli Seetharamaiah who was a famous Naxalite leader for the People’s war group at that time. Sri Ramulu was inspired by the Marxist ideology and was very actively involved in the communist party activities. He donated most of his land to the poor, helped, fought against the poor and took a strong stand, especially for the casts like Boya, Kuruba, Eediga etc to fight against the injustice happening to their basic rights over their own lands.
At that time, most of the lands in that area were occupied by several land lords. Among them, Gangula Narayana Reddy and Sane Chenna Reddy were main who faced some serious issues from Sri Ramulu who fought with them and distributed the lands back to the poor that are previously occupied by them among the poor and oppressed. This act made him a hero among the masses but also made him villain for many other land lords suffered by Sri Ramulu’s acts. He was attacked many times but was survived. During this course, land wars had reached to a different level between Ravi’s group and Reddys’ group, gangs developed, back stabbings started, eventually, Sri Ramulu was killed by his own follower who changed his loyalty to Gangula Narayana Reddy and Sane Chenna Reddy. Sri Ramulu was killed on May 29th, 1975 when he was returning home from a marriage. Paritala Ravi was just 17 years old when his father Sri Ramulu was killed.
This day when Paritala Ravi’s father was killed, was the starting point of a new bloodstained chapter, not only in his life but also a “wrong turning” point of several lives within that region. Ravi saw so many of his father’s followers, relatives and friends, losing their lives in the ongoing bloody quest.
By the time of his father’s death, Ravi has a brother, Paritala Harindra (15 years), Sisters Paritala Usha( 13) and Paritala Sailaja (10). Being the head of the family, whole responsibility rested on his young shoulders. Paritala Ravi took up cultivation and he even used to sell fruits in the market for the livelihood of his family. In the meantime, Ravi’s younger brother, Paritala Hari took his father’s footsteps and joined Naxalite movement, fought for the oppressed people against the land lords. Many cases were filed in various police stations against him. Paritala Ravi was also suspected of the Naxal activities and police cases were booked against him too. He was kept in the lock-up when Paritala Harindra was killed. Harindra was encountered by police in a broad day light. He was killed by a police inspector who acted on the behest of Gangula Narayana Reddy, Gangula Narsanna and Sane Chenna Reddy. Paritala Hari was ambushed in his own house in Venkatapuram. He concealed himself when he came to know that police surrounded his house. When police threatened that they will kill his family, Hari came out and surrendered to the police. In spite of his surrender, police still shot him by creating the scene as an encounter in front of many villagers happened in broad day light.
Paritala Ravi has somehow managed to came out on bail and got to know about his brother’s death only after 4 days of his murder. Though he was shaken with this incident, he could still control himself without committing any revengeful act on his enemies. With a terrible uncertainty paved around him, Ravi at the age of 24 went underground to escape from few unsettled police cases and couple of other settlements. When the dust was settled down a bit, he visited his maternal uncle, Kondaiah, in Seerpi Kottaala village of Uravakonda constituency to have shelter. Out there, he happened to marry his uncle's daughter, Suneetha in 1986. He tried to begin a new chapter in his life after his marriage. As a part of it he again took-up an agriculture land for cultivation. Ravi came in close contact with the People’s War Group (PWG) during that period. On the other hand, PWG was looking for an opportunity to take revenge on all who killed Sri Ramulu. As a part of their vengeance, PWG killed Boggu Narasimhulu, follower of Sri Ramulu who teamed up with the land-lords and killed Sri Ramulu earlier. Similarly, PWG killed Gangula Narayana Reddy in the Ananthapur Bus stand. With all these killings around, a word spread among the people in that area that Paritala Ravi is taking revenge of his father’s and brother’s deaths with the help of PWG.
In the meantime, 1989 Andhra Pradesh assembly elections approached. The National Congress Party has formed the government in the state. Sane Chenna Reddy, Political heir of Gangula Narayana Reddy became the MLA of Penukonda constituency. Chenna Reddy and his sons, Ramana Reddy and Obul Reddy and Gangula Surya Narayana Reddy (son of Gangula Narayana Reddy) and many of their thugs started committing many atrocities in that region. It is said that Gangula Surya Narayana Reddy and Obul Reddy raped many women in their own houses. Especially women were afraid to come out of their houses in Dharmavaram village. Many stories were told on Obul Reddy on his rapes and sadistic behavior. It was being said that he killed many people just for fun by throwing under running buses and moving trains. Similarly, stories were floated around the area on Gangula Surya Narayana Reddy as well.
In 1990 Chenna Reddy and Surya Narayana Reddy gangs killed Paathapaalyam village committee leader, Boya Venkata Ramudu who was close to Paritala Ravindra's family. They also killed Vepakunta village secretary, Vaaraadappa. After killing them they burnt their bodies with diesel. Chenna Reddy and Surya Narayana Reddy have abducted Nemalivaram village sarpanch, Subbaraayudu and killed him in Kanagaanapalli village and thrown him into the thorn bushes and also burnt him. In 1994 they killed Narayanappa in Rayadurgam who was a close associate of Nanji Reddy. Nanji Reddy was a close associate of Paritala Ravindra. One by one, Paritala Ravidnra’s close associates and people known to be working with Paratala Ravi were being killed by Chenna Reddy and Suryanarayana Reddy. There were many untold crimes committed by both of them.
PWG Naxals group was waiting for a right opportunity to kill them. Paritala too now wanted to take revenge on the assassins of his father and brother. He joined Naxals in 1991 and started actively working with them. In the year, 1991 MLA Sane Chenna Reddy was killed in his house itself in Dharmavaram while he was reading newspaper in the Morning. Naxals came in police dress and shot him to dead. Due to the death of Ramana Reddy, bi-elections were conducted, Sane Chenna Reddy fought the elections on congress ticket. Gaade Lingappa stood on TDP’s Ticket. Ramana Reddy and Obul reddy extensively rigged during the voting, killed at least 4 TDP activists, did every illegal act what they could do, finally, Ramana Reddy won the elections. With his winning, Ramana Reddy and Obul Reddy took law and order into their hands and their atrocities on common man have reached to their heights.
Meanwhile, PWG expelled Kondapalli Seetha Ramaiah who was spearheading the movement in South. Paritala Ravi’s father worked closely with Kondapalli Seetha Ramaiah and thus Seetha Ramaiah knows Ravi well. Seetha Ramaiah split PWG into two groups and started leading one of the groups. During these times, Ravi has come to more proximity with Seetha Ramaiah and shaped his ideology under Ramaiah’s influence.
Paritala Ravi realized that now he also need money and power to face both Ramana Reddy and obul Reddy. At that time, he had been making some money in his Granite business agriculture, but still was not able to be in position to influence someone.
That was the time when Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (NTR) made an entry into Politics by starting Telugu Desam Party. He was wind swirling the whole state by his Chaitanya Radham to meet people in person during his election campaign. When his Chaitanya Radham reached Dharmavaram, Obul Reddy with his followers pelted stones on his convey. He also came to know that Obul Reddy and his men killed a leader who was coming to join in TDP. He also came to know of similar incidents where Obul Reddy and his men are stopping people who are coming in support for him from the regions like Hindupur, Dharmavaram, Tadipatri and Bathalapalli. NTR’s ego was so hurt that it made him to focus all his attention on Rayalaseema Region. He clearly understood that Paritala Ravi is the correct opponent to the Ramana& Obul Reddy group. He immediately sat with his political advisors and looked at various possibilities of stopping the congress and Obul Reddy. At last, they found only one way to solve this issue which is by empowering Paritala Ravi with resources and strength. He invited Partiala Ravi into his party. Paritala Ravi was just looking for an opportunity and sensed this as the best solution to have an upper hand in the Rayalaseema politics. NTR also gave him assurance and respect that he will always welcome in advice and decisions in the Rayalaseema Politics. NTR announced Paritala Ravi’s name as TDP Penukonda candidate 9 months before the elections.
During that time period. A new era begin, Televisions started getting introduced to the Indian household into the household living rooms. Gangula Narayana Reddy’s family were in Maddelacheruvu Village. MaddelaCheruvu Suri, Son of Gangula Narayana Reddy was studying in Bangalore. Suri’s family members also bought a TV for Dasara in the Maddelacheruvu village. This TV ended-up acting as a bomb when Raghunatha Reddy, brother of Suri intended to operate this television resulting a Bomb Blast. Suri’s whole family died in that incident. Suri was just 18 years old by that time when this incident occurred. Maddelacheruvu Suri was the only surviver in the Gangula family. He decided to take revenge on Paritala Ravi thinking that Ravi has planned for this blast. He ignored the police and public’s voice that Naxsals have committed this murder but not Ravi.
TV Bomb blast incident created a sensation in the state. Paritala Ravi came into limelight. TDP came into power in the subsequent elections and NTR became chief minister. Ravi won Penukonda seat. NTR inducted him into cabinet and gave him the labour minister post. With this Ravi’s strength increased in multiple folds. He got the power and the money to prove his mettle in the Rayalaseema Region. For several years, politics of Rayalaseema Region was kept running under Paritala Ravi. Faction fueled between these two group – Paritala and Gangula.
After becoming the minister, Paritala Ravi worked to bring in the peace between several rival faction groups. He brought in many people to their villages, who left because of fear of life. He developed “Sri Haripuram” colony and constructed houses for the poor. Whole of Rayalaseema region looked at Paritala Ravi for any settlement issues. Thus, he became super popular among masses.
Meanwhile, in 1995, when Chandrababu Naidu took over the AP CM seat from NTR, Paritala Ravi supported NTR. After NTR’s death, he went and met Chandra Babu Naidu and joined him. As the current MLA seat which he won is with NTR’s image, he felt like he should not continue with it on moral grunds, hence he resigned for the MLA post and then again stood and won as the MLA from Penugonda in by-elections.. Chandrababu Naidu knew the potential of Paritala Ravi.
In the year of 1996, Obul Reddy was killed in Hyderabad. Obul Reddy along with his followers were staying in a lodge. It is said that Parital Ravi planned the murder in such a way that Obul Reddy didn’t have any scope to escape. His death was brutal. His throat was slit and his genitals were cut down. Paritala Ravi was the prime accused in this case.
Rajya Sabha MP Mohan Babu too had a cordial relationship with Paritala Ravi. They both decided to make a movie on Ravi’s father with the tile “Sri Ramulaiah” . The inaugural shot was planned in Ramoji City, Hyderabad on November 19th 1997. Thousands of Ravi’s supports came to Hyderabad for the inauguration of the movie.
After addressing the media, while Ravi and Mohanbabu were returning back to Jubilee Hills in the same car. A popular Telugu media Channel overtooked the vehicle of Ravi to cover them from front. Suddenly a bomb was triggered resulting in the death of 29 people including the death of the complete crew of Etv vehicle that overtook Ravi’s car. Nearly 32 people were injured. Paritala Ravi escaped the bomb blast with minor injuries. Once again this event focused the faction fued in Rayalaseema region. Maddelacheruvu Suri was the master mind behind this blast. This is a first of its kind blast which was never heard in India before. He made this bomb along with few engineering friends. Maddelacheruvu Suri aka Maddelacheruvu Surya Narayana Reddy made headline with this blast. First everyone though that it was a Naxalite act. But later truth came out and Suri was caught in Bangalore and was put in Cherlapalli Jail.
Paritala Ravi was shocked by this event. It is said that Ravi became very concerned and wanted to make sure this time that no one is left out in his enemies’ list. During that period, numerous murders which were unaccounted happened in Ananthapur District and Hyderabad. Former Penukond MLA Ramana Reddy is murdered in Hyderabad. In 1999 elections, Ravi won again with a huge majority. It is being said that he looked at many opportunities to kill Suri in. During this tenure, it was being said that Paritala Ravi gained huge wealth by settlements in Bangalore real estate.
Next comes, the 2004 general elections. Congress Party was looking to obtain the power. YS Rajasekhar Reddy gained lot of sympathy and popularity by his Pada Yatra. He voiced for famers and promised free electricity to them. An anti-incumbency factor too resulted in the defeat of Telugu Desam Party. Coming to Ananthapur politics, Congress played tactfully by giving ticket to Maddelacheruvu Suri’s wife Banumati on Paritala. But still Paritala Ravi won the elections with 24,000 majority. After Congress coming to power, they realized that Paritala Ravi will always be a threat to them. Many TDP activists were killed during a single year in Ananthapur district. The security for Paritala Ravi is decreased and was not allowed to move frequently in public. Many of Paritala Ravi’s followers were killed by Maddelacheruvu Suri gang. It is rumored that YS Jagan Mohan Reddy frequently met Maddelacheruvu Suri in Cherlapalli jail. Suri met Joolakanti Sreenivas Reddy aka Moddu Seenu in Jail. Moddu Seenu became thick friends with Suri in no time and became very affectionate towards him. He heard of Suri’s story and promised to help him in all the way he can.
On 24-1-2005, Paritala Ravi was killed by a planned attack, master minded by Moddu Seenu. He was shot dead when coming out of the office by Joolakanti Sreenivasa Reddy, Narayana Reddy, Rekhamayyah. Vadde Seenu and some others . Gangula Surya Narayana Reddy alias Soori, Tagarakunta Konda Reddy were conspirators.
Following the death of Paritala Ravi, TDP activists burnt many buses and caused damage to te public property. APSRTC bear heavy losses. Rekhamayyah, Narayana Reddy, Obi Reddy, Vadde Seena, Ranga nayakulu, Konda who were involved in the attack surrendered before the court. CBI investigated the case. Moddu Seenu went into hiding. He went to Coimbatore via Cudapah and from there he went to Delhi and lived there with his family for several months . Many people still remember the TV interview which he has given saying that “he want to see happiness in the eyes of his bava”. He said that he will kill Potula Suresh and Chaman and will surrender to police. CBI searched for him but were not able to capture him. He was finally arrested in a dramatic sequence. When he was staying in a lodge at Hyderabad, preparing a bomb which was accidentally went off injuring him. He was taken to hospital and was subsequently put in the jail.