They had not seen him for over three decades but top Maoist leader Kishenji's family members have appealed to the government to hand over his body to see him for the last time and perform his last rites.
Kishenji's mother Madhuramma broke down after she was informed that her son was gunned down in West Bengal. She was shocked to learn that he fell to police bullets.
A pall of gloom descended on Kishenji's house in Pedapalli in Karimnagar district of Telangana region as relatives and friends rushed to console his family Thursday night after news came that he was killed in the forests of West Bengal.
Fifty-five-year-old Kishenji was killed Thursday by security forces during a gun battle in Burishol forest in West Bengal's West Midnapore district, police said.
Family members said Madhuramma collapsed and was inconsolable as she had not seen her son ever since he went underground while doing his degree.
The second son of M. Venkataiah and Madhuramma, Kishenji, whose real name was Mallojula Koteswara Rao, did his graduation in science from a college in Karimnagar town.
While studying law at Osmania University, he joined Radical Students Union in 1974. Four years later, he went into hiding.
"He never came back home and was not in contact with us. Our request to the government is to hand over his body to us so that we can see him for the last time and perform last rites according to our traditions," said Kishenji's elder brother Anjaneyulu.
Revolutionary poet P. Varvara Rao, who too broke down on learning about the death, recalled that Kishenji joined the movement at a young age as he wanted to fight for the rights of the oppressed.
Born on Oct 10, 1953, in a Brahmin family, Kishenji's organisational skills impressed People's War Group (PWG) founder Kondapalli Seetaramayya and he picked him for PWG state secretary post.
A master strategist, Kishenji was believed to be the mastermind behind Seetaramayya's dramatic escape from Osmania Hospital in Hyderabad in 1984.
In 1986, on the direction of the party leadership he moved to Chhattisgarh and continued to strengthen the outfit in various states. He played a key role in the merger of PWG with Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) to form the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist).
He rose to become the politburo member of CPI-Maoist and was in charge of the outfit in West Bengal. He was the third key leader after Ganapathy and Sambala Kishore and was carrying a reward of Rs.19 lakh on his head.
His younger brother Venugopala Rao is central committee member and is believed to be active in the Andhra-Orissa border area.