VISAKHAPATNAM: In a bid to regain lost ground and attract the people of Telangana to their fold, the CPI Maoists have now zeroed in on land struggles as top priority and called for the people of Khammam district, particularly tribals, to occupy land belonging to landlords and politicians, who have allegedly amassed wealth in illegal ways in the state. In a leaflet released by the Khammam district committee of the Maoists, the Reds have listed details of the extent of lands allegedly encroached upon or possessed through “illegal ways” by the landlords of the district, especially those belonging to communities like Reddy, Kshatriya, Kamma and Velama that have migrated from coastal Andhra Pradesh and edged out the tribals, turning them into labourers.
The Reds have alleged that thousands of acres of fertile land have been encroached by politicians, contractors and others influential persons in Dummugudem, VR Puram, Kunavaram, Aswararaopet, Chinturu, Bhadrachalam division, Venkatapur mandal, Vajedu, Charla mandal and other parts of Khammam. “Khammam district has abundant natural resources with irrigation facilities through rivers like Sabari and Godavari, but more than 30% of the fertile land in the district is under the illegal possession of landlords belonging to a few castes such as Kshatriya, Kamma, Velama and Reddy that comprise just 5% of the population,” the Maoist leaflet alleged.
The leaflet, which was printed in October-end and has come to light recently, contains a list of big names along with the extent of land they own mandal-wise. In the leaflet, accessed by TOI, many big names have been listed along with the extent of land they own mandal-wise. The list includes former Telugu Desam Party minister Tummala Nageswara Rao (150 acres), who is presently sailing with Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), former TDP MP Nama Nageswara Rao (200 acres), who owns Madhucon Construction, YSRCP MP Ponguleti Srinivasa Reddy (200 acres), former MLA Vanama Venkateswara Rao (150 acres), CPM leader Tammineni Veerabhadram (200 acres), TRS MLA Jalagam Venkata Rao (350acres), YSRCP leader Kurakala Nagabhusahanam (150 acres), Congress leader Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy (150 acres), Congress deputy speaker Bhatti Vikramarka (100 acres), CPI leader Puvvada Nageswara Rao (150 acres) and landlord Kuppa Varaprasad (350 acres, including 200 acres in Ballari), and finance businessmen Upperna Vasu and Tirumala Rao with 100 acres each.
The Reds have even named former MLA Kunja Satyavathi of Bhadrachalam, Vajedu mandal zamindar Peddababu (300 acres) and Edari Bhupati of Kottapalli in Charla mandal (180 acres). The Naxalites accused the ‘encroachers’ of donning a new avatar by transforming themselves into contractors, liquor and sand mafia, apart from encouraging illegal settlements under the cover of politics, real estate encroachments, mining, coal open cast mining, among others. “This kind of practice has been more visible in Sattupalli, Palvancha and Bhadrachalam divisions,” the Reds alleged.
Maoist posters create flutter
Maoists have put up handwritten posters and printed pamphlets at various localities in Venkatapuram and Charla towns in the wee hours of Tuesday urging people to wage a fight for the rights of Adivasis over Jal, Jangal and Zameen (Water, Forest and Land). The rebels launched the poster campaign in connection with People’s Guerrilla Army (PGA) Week celebrations slated from December 2 to 8. The pamphlets purportedly put up by Maoists in Venkatapuram created flutters in the town as they contained the names of several “landlords” including some elected representatives and a few former MLAs of ruling and opposition parties from the district.
The rebels charged the “landlords” with encroaching upon vast swathes of tribal lands in gross violation of 1/70 Act in Bhadrachalam Agency area by exploiting the gullible tribal people. Through the pamphlets the rebels called upon people to fight to liberate the encroached tribal lands from landlords, stop Polavaram project, safeguard the rights of Adivasis and pursue agrarian revolution. The pamphlets surfaced at the entrance of bus station and a temple complex in the heart of Charla town.
Meanwhile, fear pervaded the interior tribal pockets in Bhadrachalam division as additional police forces swooped in the forest fringe villages in pursuit of rebels who are engaged in arrangements to organise the PGA Week celebrations.
Jharkhand Chief Secy condemns torching of vehicles
Chief Secretary Sajja Chakraborty today said Naxalites’ act of torching two election campaign vehicles in Sonua was an “attempt to build up psychological pressure on police” ahead of second phase of the five-phased state polls slated for December 2. Chakraborty said, “It is a futile attempt by the ultras to build up psychological press on the police force” but the security personnel are alerted and engaged in anti-naxal operation.
Chakraborty was in the district headquarter of insurgency-affected West Singhbhum, where he held a meeting with senior police officials including IG (Zonal) M S Bhatia, IG (Ops) Rezi Dungdung, DIG (Kolhan) Md Nehal and Superintendent of Police N K Singh, among others. “We are committed to hold a free and fair poll in the state and confident that the people will turn out in large number,” he said. We have deployed five times more security personnels this time compared to what we had in the last parliamentary poll, he said adding that will be adequate and tight security arrangement across the state.
He said anti-naxal operation was going on in the naxal-infested area and security personnel are prepared to meeting any eventuality during the poll. Chakraborty also directed the officials to take immediate measures to plug the loopholes in the security arrangement if there was any. We have intensified patrolling in the bordering areas with the neighbouring states, he added. Earlier, suspected naxals had torched two vehicles engaged in election campaigning at Kuira village under Sonua police station on Tuesday. While one vehicle belonged to Congress party candidate, another was government vehicle.