Maoists making a fresh offensive for north Telangana?

After a gap of nearly five years, the Maoists have resurfaced in the north Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh. On Thurday, the extremists held a people’s court in Mukkunur village of Mahadevpur forest area in Karimnagar, fired at a former sarpanch, beat up another public representative and kidnapped a Naxalite who had surrendered.

According to the Karimnagar police, the Maoists entered the village late on Wednesday and dragged former sarpanch Venkatswamy and former block member Chinnappa. They held a people’s court till the early hours of Thursday and declared that both of them were acting as informers for the police. They beat up both the public representatives severely.

As Venkatswamy tried to flee the spot, the Maoists fired 20 rounds at him, injuring him grievously. They left the village into the nearby forests at the dawn raising slogans. They also took with them a surrendered Maoist, Narender.

The villagers shifted both the public representatives to Mahadevpur hospital. While Chinnappa recovered at the hospital, Venkatswamy was taken to the government hospital in Warangal where his condition is said to be critical.

Mahadevpur is close to Peddapalli town, the native of Mallojula Koteshwara Rao, alias Kishenji, who was killed in a police encounter in West Bengal on November 24 last year. There was a huge turnout of Maoist sympathizers at the funeral of Kishenji at Peddapalli and the police suspect that there could be large scale infiltration of Maoist cadres into Karimnagar district during that time.

Meanwhile, there were reports from Visakhapatnam that two Maoists were killed in a fierce encounter with the police at Balapam village of Chintapalli block bordering Odisha on Thursday afternoon. The police, however, have not confirmed the encounter.

The Karimnagar incident put the police forces in north Telangana districts on high alert. The intelligence department has cautioned the police recently that the Maoists are trying to regain their hold over the north Telangana districts by actively involving themselves in the Telangana movement.

Till now, the Maoists infiltration was confined to Khammam, Vizianagaram and Visakhaptnam districts, bordering Chattisgarh and Odisha. “However, there have been specific inputs over the movement of Maoists from Gadchiroli forests of Maharashtra into Adilabad and Karimnagar areas. We are stepping up the vigilance in these areas,” a source in the intelligence department said.
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