Vangaveeti Mohana Ranga life history
Ranga’s history starts from Vijayawada. In the 70s, Vijayawada was earlier known for its notorious gang culture. It was a mixture of various ingredients coupled with caste, crime, politics, savage justice, film-star samaritanism, street law, student gangs etc.
Vijayawada’s history is divided into 3 phases, before Ranga, during Ranga, and after Ranga.
Ranga, however, continued to grow, he had a Robin Hood kind of image among the lower classes. Most of the working classes supported Ranga, as a hero, who protected them from the mob elements.
Before Ranga’s era, Vijayawada was within the clutches of communists. The city was then a bastion of communists. The only big political party was Congress which has only one opponent in the form of CPI party led by Chalasani Venkata Ratnam.He was like a big brother to all communists in Vijayawada. Communists had good control on Student and worker organizations in Vijayawada. It is said that Chalasani Venkata Ratnam supported Ranga’s family when they came to Vijayawada. Gradually, Vangaveeti Radha Krishna, brother of Vangaveeti Mohana Ranga became one of the main followers of Chalani Venkata Ratnam.
Being a central hub of thousands of villages and a main connecting city to all the coastal districts and neighboring states, the then Vijayawada was growing rapidly. The main business was the transport industry. With the aim of standing in that business, Vangaveeti Radha Krishna started an auto stand in the Lenin Centre in Vijayawada.
Ego’s and the leadership clash that Radha Krishna might go out of his hands, Chalasani Venkata Ratnam didn’t like this step of setting up Auto stand. Slowly, differences popped out between Chalasani and Radha Krishna. Supporters of Chalasani came up with another auto stand in Auto Nagar. This incident took the differences between Chalasani and Radha Krishna to the hights.
Another incident was establishing the United Independent Organisation( UIO) a student union in Vijayawada by Radha Krishna. Till then, All India Student Federation (AISF) is the only organization for the students supported by communists. With this student divided into two groups. Student’s politics coupled with caste card rose and conflicts started to happen with students physically harming each other. On the other end, Conflicts started to happen to get a hold on transport business, Datti Kanaka Rao, a follower of Chalasani Venkata Ratnam was killed. This incident sparked the Rowdy Politics in Vijayawada. Within few days of Datti Kanaka Rao’s death, Radha Krishna follower Durga is brutally killed by the opposition. One more follower of Radha Krishna Hanumantha Rao was also killed in the following months. Vangaveeti Radha Krishna group boiled with Vengeance. They killed Chalasani Venkata Ratnam. A murder was so brutal that Chalasani had 72 knife stabs. Chalasani murder was the big sensation and caused ripples all over. Court sentenced Radha Krishna and 10 of his followers for Life prison.
Vangaveeti Radha Krishna stardom raised like anything after Chalasani murder. His word was final in Vijayawada and without his knowledge, nothing was happening in there. After 2 years of Chalasani murder, Radha Krishna was also murdered by an opposition group.
Vangaveeti Mohan Ranga Entry.
Here comes Vangaveeti Mohana Ranga into the picture after his brother Radha Krishna’s death. Vijayawada politics took a new turn after the entry of Mohanga Ranga.
Devineni Nehru and Devineni Gandhi were in Radha Krishna’s group. With the entry of Mohana Ranga and the popularity and fame, he is gaining, in-fighting between the group started, to take control of the Radha Krishna’s legacy. Earlier, Devineni and Vangaveeti’s families are so close and were ready to do anything to each other.
With Mohana Ranga popularity increasing day by day, Devineni family stared another student organization, United Student Organisation( USO) against the United Independent Organisation (UIO) which was started by late Radha Krishna. Differences started between Vangaveeti and Devineni’s families. One group was after another group. There were regular clashes between each other followers. In 1979, Devineni Gandhi was murdered by Ranga followers. With this, Ranga took over the control of Vijayawada. Devineni family took a back step. Devineni family was looking for an opportunity to get back in active politics of Vijayawada. In the year 1983, with the entry of Telegu Desam Party (TDP), Devineni family sensed an opportunity and joined TDP. Riding on NTR’s popularity, Deveneni family won Kankipadu constituency and became an MLA.
With this Ranga also stepped into politics and joined Congress. He played the major role in Vijayawada Congress party and was actively involved reaching out people in solving their problems. In 1985, mid-term elections, Congress nominated Vangaveeti Mohana Rana. Ruling government with their influence registered few criminal cases against Ranga and get him arrested. He was denied bail too. Ranga started his campaign from Jail. Riding on his craze, popularity and with his followers support, he won the elections and became MLA from North Vijayawada.
He became the voice of Kapu community. He always raised his voice against the government that they are trying to suppress the Kapu community. With all these incidents, Ranga became an undisputed leader in Kapu Community. He established “ Kapunadu” and brought all the Kapu Community under one roof. He organized many events, rallies and brought the awareness among the Kapu Community to be one to fight for their rights, reservations. His popularity has skyrocketed and the tremors felt at Hyderabad too in the ruling government.
He was the voice of the Congress party and opposed TDP policies. He opposed the “Police Bill” introduced by the then SP K S Vyas, who was the first SP for the newly formed Vijayawada Urban district.
Vangaveeti Mohana Ranga Murder:
On the other side, Devineni family was looking for a right opportunity to eliminate Ranga. They killed 4 of his followers who were involved in Devineni Gandhi murder. Ranga followers were returning back from Court in the Devineni Gandhi murder case. All were killed in broad daylight in the RTC bus. This incident led Ranga to serious think about Devineni Family. Both groups tried to show dominance and control over Liquor Syndicates, Taxi stands, student organizations. Ranga was aggressive in his approach. Devineni Murali, who was the younger brother of Devineni Rajasekhar( Nehru) and Devineni Gandhi was studying law. He was murdered by Ranga group on March 10th 1988 in Yedlapadu, Guntur district, when he was returning back to Vijayawada from Nellore after writing exams. Ranga went underground for few days and later he surrendered to the court.
With TDP still ruling the state, Ranga was unstoppable. He garnered huge fame and popularity in Vijayawada and surrounding districts. Devineni family and the ruling government always tried to stop him from time to time. He was many times asked by the City SP not to come out in public and not to conduct rallies or dharnas. Ranga was doing a hunger strike on Bandar Road, for the house pattas of Giripuram locality. On December 26, 1988, during the early hours of the morning, Thugs in four private buses came in Ayyappaswamy mala dress and attacked Ranga and his followers with bombs and swords, knives and sickles.
Vangaveeti Mohan Ranga was killed brutally on that day.The killing of Ranga sparked unprecedented caste rioting in the entire coastal region leading scores of death and destruction of property worth billions of rupees. Kamma businesses were looted and burnt. The violence in the city was so huge, curfew was imposed in Vijayawada for around 2 months.
After Ranga’s death, his wife Ratnakumari was elected in the by-elections
Court verdict on Ranga’s murder:
All 33 persons accused of the sensational murder of Congress legislator Vangaveeti Mohana Ranga Rao at Vijayawada have been acquitted by the Rangareddy district court.
Delivering the verdict, Rangareddy District Sessions Judge N Vidya Prasad acquitted all the 33 accused, including the Telugu Desam Party legislator from Kankipadu, Devineni Rajasekhar (Nehru), and dismissed the case on the ground that the prosecution had failed to prove their guilt.The prosecution contended that the accused, including Kadiala Buchibabu and 43 others, had attacked Ranga with bombs and knives at his hunger strike camp. Ranga was chased and hacked to death while trying to flee the place.
The Vijayawada police registered cases against the accused and the case was transferred to the criminal investigation department of the state police. Later, the Central Bureau of Investigation took over and filed the charge sheet.
The trial was transferred from the Vijayawada court to the Rangareddy court after Ranga’s widow and former legislator Ratnakumari said the lives of the witnesses would be under threat if the trial was held in Vijayawada.
Eleven of the accused persons died over the years. The remaining 33 faced prosecution.The Rangareddy court examined 96 witnesses. Most of the witnesses too turned hostile.
Ranga Legacy is still hot discussion among the coastal districts.