AP police on toes as Maoists try to regain foothold

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh police are on toes about the movements of Maoists, who are reportedly trying to regain foothold in the state, particularly in some districts of north Telangana.

The Maoists are allegedly trying to regain their lost control and making their presence felt through violent actions like damaging communication network and roads. According to reports, the ultras have also started recruiting cadres in north Telangana districts.

However, police say that Maoists would not be spared if they resorted to violence. "Stern action would be taken against Maoists, if they indulged in any kind of violence," a senior police officer told PTI.

In the recent past, there have been a number of incidents, which indicated that Naxalites are trying to re-establish themselves in the region.

Incidents like killing a head constable, exchange of fire in Visakhapatnam district, police seizure of Rs 50 lakh cash from Maoist couriers, a `Praja Court` (meeting of villagers) conducted recently by the ultras at a remote village in Karimnagar district and causing injuries to one local Congress leader by opening fire, has put the police on alert.

"A group of 30-40 armed Maoists conducted `Praja Court` (meeting of villagers) at Mukunor village of Mahadevpur mandal of Karimnagar district, close to the border of Chhattisgarh state, which was once considered a stronghold of Naxalites," Karimangar district Superintendent of Police (SP) V Ravinder told PTI.

Following this incident, security forces have been put on alert and they are keeping a strict vigil on Chhattisgarh- Andhra Pradesh border.

"We will curb all kinds of Maoist activities as per the law," the SP said adding that besides intensifying combing operations, police network would be strengthened.

Maoists held the villagers` meeting to threaten them after branding two local Congress leaders accusing them of being police informers last week. They dragged out G Chinnanna, former Mandal Parishad president of Mahadevpur and his elder brother Venkatswamy, husband of former sarpanch Lakshmi of Mukunor, a village close to Chhattisgarh state.

They beat the duo in front of villagers with sticks and threatened them to resign from Congress party. When Venkatswamy tried to escape, the Maoists opened fire at him causing a bullet injury in his stomach.

The killing of head constable K Apannna on April 26 sent shock waves in the state police. The Maoists shot Apanna dead at Paderu, when he was walking on the road. He was posted in the Special Intelligence Bureau.

There was an exchange of fire between police and Maoists in Luvasingi forest area of Madugula mandal in Visakha agency area. During the firing, which lasted for three hours, two persons were killed, police said.

While police claimed that the deceased were Maoists, villagers claimed that the deceased were villagers` relatives.

In Khammam district, six persons, allegedly working as Maoists` couriers were arrested on April 29 and Rs 50 lakh were seized from them, which was being transported to be handed over to Maoists in Chhattisgarh, police said.

The money was sent from a company which had undertaken road construction work in Kanker district in Chhattisgarh state. Kanker district is close to Andhra Pradesh border.