Maoists make comeback in Telangana

HYDERABAD, India: Five years after they were forced to flee from Andhra Pradesh, Maoists appear all set to stage a comeback in the state, once considered their stronghold.

This is evident from the fact that the Naxalites held a ‘People’s Court’ at Mukkunur village which falls under the Mahadevpur forest area of Karimnagar district in north Telangana, which not long ago was their bastion.

The Maoists, before holding the ‘People’s Court’ opened fire at a former sarpanch (village head), beat up another public representative and kidnapped a former Naxalite who had surrendered before the police.

Police sources said the Maoists entered the village on late Thursday evening and dragged former sarpanch Venkatswamy and a former block member Chinnappa. Both of them were branded as police informers at the ‘People’s Court after which the two were beaten up.

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

Both the injured have been admitted to a local hospital. The incident is being seen in police circles as a determined attempt by the Maoists to regain the lost ground in Telangana region. Significantly, Mahadevpur is close to Peddapalli town, from where Mallojula Koteshwara Rao, alias Kishenji, a top-ranking Maoist leader who was killed in a police encounter in West Bengal in November last year, hailed.

There was a huge turnout of Maoist sympathisers at the funeral of Kishenji at Peddapalli and the police suspect that there could be large scale infiltration of Maoist cadres into Karimnagar district using the occasion as a cover.

Following the Karimnagar incident, police in north Telangana districts have been put on high alert.

Till now, the Maoists infiltration was confined to Khammam, Vizianagaram and Visakhaptnam districts, bordering Chhattisgarh and Odisha. “However, there have been specific inputs over movement of Maoists from Gadchiroli forests of Maharashtra into Adilabad and Karimnagar areas.

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