Allungal Sreedharan underground for 50 years dies

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Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 27

 Maoist Allungal Sreedharan, who was the mastermind of Pulpally police station attack (Kerala) of November 24, 1968, along with Vargheese, Philip M. Prasad, and K. Ajitha, passed away on Friday in Idukki district.

Sreedharan had changed his name to Mavady Thankappan and was living in the high ranges of Kerala in Thodupuzha after the police station attack. He suffered brutal police beatings along with Ajitha, Philip M. Prasad, and other Maoist leaders, while Vargheese was shot dead by police in the Pulpally forest while escaping.

Sentenced to life in connection with the case, he went underground in the high range district of Idukki and settled there under a different name. Except for his wife and two close friends, nobody knew that the ordinary farm hand working with them in the cardamom plantations was the legendary rebel.

Jiji Vargheese, CPI-M local secretary of Parathode, said: "We did not know that it was Allungal who was with us. He was associated with the CPI-M and was in the party local committee for several years. It was after his death that his close friend informed the party and we communicated the message to Ajitha who instantly recognised the former firebrand leader."

In later years, Sreedharan bought a small cardamom plantation and was living a simple life along with his wife and two children. He passed away at the age of 86 due to age-related ailments.

Ajitha, who participated in the attack at the age of 18, said: "Allungal Sreedharan was a bold comrade who had participated in the Malabar Special Police camp attack in 1968. We were not in touch with him after the incident and never knew whether he was alive or had passed away."

The attack of the Malabar Special Police camp at Pulpally in Wayanad was the first guerilla attack carried out in Kerala.


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