Hyderabad, June 15: Veteran journalist and author Adiraju Venkateswara Rao passed away in the early hours of Friday after a brief illness. He is 80 years and leaves behind wife, a son and daughter.
Popularly known as Adiraju, Adiraju Venkateswara Rao was born in 1938 at Panditapuram village in Khammam district. In his journalistic career spanning over nearly five and half decades, he worked for several Telugu and English dailies and news agencies including Andhra Jyothi, Udayam, Deccan Chronicle, Indian Express, Himachal Times and Hindustan Samachar at Hyderabad and Delhi. He also edited some political weeklies.
Flamboyant and cigarette smoking Adiraju was one of the pioneers of investigative reporting of his generation. He came into prominence at national level after he exposed fake encounters of Naxalite during the emergency and assisted the Tarkunde Committee and later deposed before the Bhargava Commission which went into the issue. He also authored a book on emergency excesses.
He participated in separate Telangana agitation during 1969-70 and went to jail. He wrote a book ‘People’s Struggle’ on the genesis of Telangana movement while in Musheerabad jail. He authored several books recording several popular movements in erstwhile Andhra Pradesh and in other parts of the country.
The Indian Journalists Union and the Telangana State Union of Working Journalists (TUWJ) expressed profound grief over the passing away of veteran journalist Adiraju Venkateswara Rao and extended sympathy to the bereaved family.
In a statement issued here on Friday, Indian Journalists Union (IJU) Secretary-General Amar Devulapalli, TUWJ Adviser K Sreenivas Reddy, President N Sekhar and General Secretary K Virahath Ali said in the passing away of Adiraju Venkateswara Rao, the world of journalism lost a pioneer and a veteran. The statement said Adiraju wrote and struggled to voice the concerns of the downtrodden and disadvantaged people.
Paying glowing tributes to Adiraju, the statement said, “He exposed the undemocratic actions of those in power relentlessly without fear or favour. He always questioned the power and called them to account. His investigative reporting and insightful analyses of the current events will stand as best examples to be emulated by the young journalists.”