Maoists’ Andhra agenda: fuel unrest against Polavaram dam, Telangana

In a bid to stage a comeback in Andhra Pradesh — especially North Telangana, Maoists have chalked out a plan to ignite the anti-Polavaram dam sentiments and the unrest over Telangana, according to diaries, letters and literature recovered from two Maoist camps in Khammam district.

This is the first time that conclusive proof has been found about the Maoists’ strategy in Andhra Pradesh.

“The documents we recovered from two Maoist camps in Khammam district during anti-Maoist operations in the last one week indicate that a high-level meeting of North Telangana Special Zonal Committee and CPI(Maoist) leaders was held in Bijapur in the last week of August. One specific resolution was passed in this meeting: that they should intensify efforts to ‘re-establish their existence’ and ‘dominate’ in Khammam, Warangal and Karimnagar, and start an anti-Polavaram dam movement. This meeting was attended by dalam commanders of the three districts besides leaders of Dandakaranya and Andhra-Orissa border,” said an official involved in anti-Maoist operations in Khammam.

Twice last week, special police forces exchanged fire with Maoists at two camps in Ashwaraopet mandal and Gollamadugu village in Velerupadu mandal. There were no casualties on either side, but the fleeing Maoists left behind several rucksacks and kitbags containing among other things diaries and notes.

“Letters found in the bags indicate that a three-pronged strategy was evolved for north Telangana and Polavaram. First, dalam commanders and underground cadre were asked to spread out in the field in the three districts and start reviving old contacts and sympathisers and ‘cultivate’ a few tribal villages to provide shelter. Second, to antagonise Polavaram dam-affected people by making direct contact or approaching them through human rights activists. Third, to raise the issue politically through Maoist frontal organisations,” said the official.

“The rucksacks and kitbags were filled with dry rations and medicines to last several days. The dalams were not just passing through or taking shelter. They had re-grouped for a longer stay in Khammam,” said an official.

The Officer on Special Duty, Kothogudem Division, Raghuram Reddy, said anti-Maoist operations have been intensified after the two incidents. “They have fled from Khammam into neighbouring West Godavari district and are believed to be hiding in Papikondalu area,” Reddy said.

In the past, there have been intelligence reports warning about Maoists’ attempts to regain ground in Khammam district to create a seamless corridor between Dantewada in Chattisgarh and Malkangiri in Orissa.

As part of their plan to dominate in North Telangana districts, the Maoists had started using their primary tactic —creating fear by random killings — in remote tribal villages close to the border. Last Friday, they shot dead a Dalit leader in Cherla mandal, accusing him of being a police informer.

Officials said the real target was the police. “They asked the villagers not to remove the body till the police arrived. They wanted to use it as a bait to ambush any incoming police party,” said an official.

Meanwhile, officials suspect that a Maoist medical camp has been opened along the border. Five members of the North Telangana Special Zonal Committee were arrested on September 25 near Cherla in Bhadrachalam division while they were travelling in a jeep loaded with cartons of medicines.

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