HYDERABAD/WARANGAL: In what is not very good news, highly-placed sources say that 60-80 Maoists have crossed over to the Telangana region from Chhattisgarh. Split into small (10-15 member) dalams, the rebels crossed the Godavari in Eturunagaram mandal and first entered Warangal district and later fanned out to the neighbouring Karimnagar district.
While police ruled out the entry of action teams, sources said Maoists in small (1+1 or 1+2) batches had already sneaked in to wreak havoc. This information comes a day after the ultras struck in the Telangana region after four years.
“Unlike the previous years, the ultras are very much keyed up to foment trouble especially in Warangal, Karimnagar and Khammam districts. We are expecting serious trouble in the coming days,” a senior cop told TOI. Primarily, the Maoist leadership’s aim is to showcase the party’s existence and create a scare in the volatile T-region, sources averred.
“North Telangana was one of their strong bastions before they were wiped out. Thursday’s killings of three ‘innocent’ villagers was nothing but an effort to achieve area domination by the ultras,” a senior police officer told TOI. In fact, north Telangana served as the de facto capital of the Naxalite movement before the rebels were flushed out by relentless efforts of the Greyhounds, and top leaders like Muppalla Laxmana Rao alias Ganapathi and Kishenji were forced to take refuge in Chhattisgarh and West Bengal. But that was a few years ago. With police becoming complacent in the absence of any serious threat, the Maoists have regrouped and fanned out deep into the thick forest tracts to create trouble.
“The Maoists took their own time in regrouping and building their cadre base. As part of reviving their citadel, they started killing villagers who they think are police informers,” an expert on Naxal affairs reasoned.
“Thursday’s violence in north Telangana is only a teaser. There’s more to come as the rebels are hungry for success after tasting reverses in the region,” a former SP who served in Warangal district said. Apart from a 12-member dalam which sneaked into Eturunagaram from Chhattisgarh, a 20-member team came to Mahadevpur forest area in Karimnagar district.
Commander Damodar is leading the Maoist teams. Sources said it was on Damodar’s insistence, boat operator Chiranjeevi, ration dealer Sammaiah and fisherman Bhaskar were taken deep into the jungles by the dalams.