Maoists trying to regain ground in bauxite hills
They see an opportunity to exploit tribals’ opposition to mining The CPI (Maoist), which had receded from Visakhapatnam’s Agency areas in recent years, has been trying to recover its influence over tribal communities. The banned naxalite group allegedly sees an opportunity in the TDP government’s proposal to mine bauxite in the Vizag hills, to which tribal people in this district have been opposing for long. After taking over reins, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has been repeatedly stating that bauxite deposits in the Eastern Ghats will be exploited.
Tribal groups in the Agency area are alarmed that this will result in their eviction from their homelands and loss of livelihood. Sources say there have been inputs to suggest that CPI (Maoist) has resumed its attempts to stoke unrest among tribals. The Maoists are allegedly back to organising meetings in remote tribal villages in the hills, trying to rally opposition to bauxite mining. Four meetings are said to have been held so far with about 1000-1500 tribal people attending. Some elected representatives are said to have been coerced by the Maoists into attending some of these meetings. Police are worried over these reports. They believe Kudumula Ravi, one of the top regional leaders of CPI (Maoist) in the area, has been active in the tribal hills in the last eight months trying to organise support for his party.
The forested Agency area provides cover for the Maoists and tribal populations thrown off their lands and occupations have been their target groups. But in the face of stern measures by the police, the Maoists have been unable to get logistic and operational support as they used to be in the past. But the tribals’ strong opposition to the government’s proposal to exploit the vast and high-quality bauxite deposits in 3,600 hectares in Araku, Sapparla and Jerrela areas has provided another opportunity for the Maoists. Apart from tribals fear’s, environmentalists too believe that bauxite mining may destroy the flora and fauna unique to this area.
Maoist action teams on prowl in Visakha Agency
VISAKHAPATNAM: The district cops have been put on high alert following information about members of the banned CPI Maoist outfit eyeing soft targets in the Visakha Agency to spread terror and pressurise people’s representatives to intensify the anti-bauxite agitation. The cops in Visakha rural suspect the Maoists may strike at any place or engage in violence to show their strength and boost the confidence of their sympathisers. According to sources, the naxals have formed action teams, comprising 2-3 persons skilled in accomplishing specialised tasks with small weapons like pistols or revolvers, in the Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB) areas. The objective of the teams is to focus mainly on representatives of political parties in the Visakha Agency.
The naxals allegedly held meetings with people’s representatives in the Agency recently to bring more politicians under their ‘order’ and have planned to eliminate a few ‘targets’. According to sources, they have more than 100 persons, including politicians, former naxals, home guards, and cops on their hit list. The Red guerillas, in a bid to prove that they are still in command of the AOB areas, especially Visakha Agency, have already started regrouping their sympathisers and militia members and are waiting for an opportunity to show their strength in the AOB areas, sources said. They are likely to unleash a series of attacks in the coming days as it’s a question of survival for them now.
We have been tracking the movements of naxals keenly due to which the firing incidents took place within 24 hours in Koyyuru mandal. But it is difficult to conduct regular operations in remote areas such as Chintapalli, GK Veedhi, Koyyuru, G Madugula, and Pedabayalu,” a senior police officer in the Agency told TOI. Meanwhile, sources said that cops of various police stations in the Visakha Agency have already warned the people on the hit list of the Maoists to regularly inform the police about their whereabouts and not to venture into the interior pockets without prior information.
Telangana government beefs up security as Maoist activities increases
HYDERABAD: The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS)-led government in India’s newest state has beefed up security in border districts apart from providing bullet-proof vehicles to ministers, alarmed by the attempts of Left-wing extremists to regain their lost ground in the region. The ruling TRS, which had till last year repeatedly debunked the apprehensions over threat of Maoists once Telangana was carved out, has also decided to further modernise the police force by earmarking substantial funds.
Guns boom again in Visakha Agency
VISAKHAPATNAM: Within 24 hours of the shootout at Cheedipalli in Budaralla panchayat of Koyyuru mandal on Wednesday, security forces exchanged fire with naxals yet again in the Visakha Agency on Thursday morning for nearly half an hour. Almost 200 rounds were fired by the Maoists and combing parties of Visakha Rural police at Teegalametta village, 15 km from Cheedipalli, at around 9.15 am on Thursday. However, no deaths or injuries were reported in the incident. On Wednesday, the Maoists had split into three groups and escaped from Cheedipalli when the cops opened fire and it was one of these groups that the combing parities encountered at Teegalametta village on Thursday.
According to sources, the Visakha Rural cops had deployed additional forces in the area to search for Maoists on Wednesday night after the incident. Locals said that one of the combing parties apprehended a villager. Seeing this from a distance, the armed cadre of the Reds, who reached the village on Wednesday night, opened fire on the cops before fleeing the spot. Police sources said they found torches, food packets with inscriptions in Odiya, a 5-kg Exide battery at the Cheedipalli firing spot. A senior cop involved in anti-naxal operations told TOI that the battery is used for blasting land mines and recharging wireless sets. After examining the spot at Cheedipalli, cops came to the conclusion that around 40 to 50 cadres of the banned outfit had camped there. Visakha Rural SP Koya Praveen told TOI that combing parties found two kit bags and newspapers at the Teegalametta firing spot. They, however, did not find any evidence of any Maoist being dead or injured at the spot. The cops believe that Maoists Azad, Anand, Birsu and two women naxals reached the village from Cheedipalli. Praveen said combing will continue in Teegalametta and surrounding areas.
Maoist IED blast: CAF constable killed, two others injured
A Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) constable was killed and two others injured in an IED blast triggered off by Maoists in the insurgency-hit Sukma district today, just ahead of Union Home Affairs Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit scheduled for tomorrow. The explosion occurred while a CAF team was patrolling near Dharampenta village under Kistaram police station limits to ensure security of an under construction culvert, Sukma Superintendent of Police D Shrawan told PTI.
When the security forces were cordoning off the construction site, located nearly 450 kms away from here on Konta-Kistaram route in the extreme south Bastar, naxals triggered the explosion leaving three jawans injured, the SP said. Subsequently firing broke out between security forces and rebels which lasted for a short period following which naxals fled into the dense forests, the SP added. “Constable Suman Tirki, belonging to III battalion of CAF, succumbed to his grievous injuries during treatment,” the SP said. The other injured constables namely Suleman Khakha and Anand Minj, of the same battalion, were shifted by helicopter to Raipur for treatment, he said. Meanwhile, a combing operation has been launched in the region to nab the attackers.