Maoists destroyed a religious ashram and a small home at Gudhalamveedhi village in the Visakhapatnam Agency area here, police said today. The incident took place late last night when around 20 Maoists and Maoist militia members reached the ashram run by Jagandora Simhachalam, G Madugula Inspector K Srinivasa Rao said. The Maoists destroyed the idols in the ashram, damaged Simhachalam’s house, set afire a motorbike parked in front of the house, damaged the ashram and beat up Simhachalam’s followers before leaving the village. The rebels also set afire an excavator near Nurmati area, protesting against ongoing road work there. Simhachalam has been running the ashram (said to be Vijaya Durga Devi temple) in a asbesto shed in the Gudhalam area for the past few years.
The rebels had reached the village to kill Simhachalam, branding him a police informer, but they did not find him in the village. The Maoists have alleged that Simhachalam instigates tribals to become police informers under the cover of spiritual activities, police said. The Maoists had also blamed Simhachalam for the death of their East Divisional Committee members Sindri Chinna Ranga Rao alias Sarat and militia member P Ganapat, who were lynched at Veeravaram village by a mob of tribals after a Maoist team shot dead one G Sanjeeva Rao, who was Simhachalam’s friend.