Submitted by Editor on Wed, 2016-02-03 22:31 Bengaluru: Vittala Malekudiya, who has been accused of being a Naxal sympathiser, filed his nomination papers for the Zilla Panchayat polls from the Dharmasthala ZP constituency.Hailing from Kutlur village near Dharmasthala, 25-year-old Vittala has a Master’s degree in Mass Communication and Journalism. Speaking to Bfirst.in, Vittala said, “I am contesting from CPI(M)’s ticket to work on tribal issues, forest rights, and to protect the livelihood of beedi workers.”Malekudiya said he would also focus on resolving the mystery surrounding the unnatural death of Soujany which had shaken many. “There have been more than 450 unnatural deaths in the region. My goal is to protect the rights of tribal people,” he added.Muneer Katipalla, President, CPI(M), said he expected Malekudiya to emerge victorious in the polls. “We have a strong history of activism in the region,” said Muneer and attacked the Congress and the BJP for being indifferent in the Soujanya murder case and Endosulfan disaster.Vittala Malekudiya wrote his MCJ exams under the police custody.Vittala Malekudiya has had a tumultuous last few years. He and his father Linganna had been detained by the Anti-Naxal Force in March 2012 for being naxal sympathisers. The Belthangady JMFC court had granted father and son bail after 125 days of judicial custody after the police failed to file a chargesheet against the duo even after the 90 days.Later, the two were charged under sections 10 and 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Section 121 of the IPC.The young man’s ordeal extended to his academics as well as the University of Mangalore refused to allow Vittala to write his examinations over his arrest. Later, following a court directive, he was allowed to do so. The university also allegedly refused to issue his marks sheet citing shortage in class attendance. Vittala completed his MCJ in 2015. He is the first person to complete his post graduation course from the Malekudiya community.