Maoists plan big strikes in November, give cops the jitters

VISAKHAPATNAM: In what could be a worry for the security forces on the Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB), Maoists are planning to launch major strikes and violent attacks during the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) week in November-end when they plan to pay tributes to their slain leaders, including top gun Mallojula Koteswara Rao alias Kishanji. Ironically, Kishanji, who controlled the Maoist operations in eastern India, was killed in an alleged encounter in Burisole forest area in west Midnapore of West Bengal on November 24 last year when he was on his way to attend a PLGA meeting.

The security forces in Chhattisgarh and AOB are suspecting large-scale violence by the Maoists during this year’s PLGA week as it is being observed to coincide with the first death anniversary of Kishanji. “Besides, they have formed a new combat force on the borders of Chhattisgarh-Maharashtra-Odisha, with links to Andhra Pradesh areas to take on the security forces and foment trouble,” sources said. Highly-placed sources told TOI that the Maoist party had advanced its week-long PLGA celebrations to November 24 to coincide with Kishanji’s martyrdom. PLGA week otherwise is observed every year from December 2. This is the first time that the PLGA week has been advanced after the formation of the guerrilla wing in 2000. Sources said the Maoist top brass has already taken key leaders into confidence on the PLGA anniversary. Party posters urging the people to observe the PLGA week from November 24 in a big way have sprung up in interior pockets and thick forest areas of AOB and Venkatapuram, Koonavaram and Charla mandals in Khammam district, bordering Chhattisgarh. A senior police officer involved in anti-Maoist operations told TOI the rebels could resort to surprise ambushes. “They are desperate and could go the whole hog to showcase their presence in the region,” he said.

It is learnt that the new border force of Maoists is infused with young blood with all its cadres aged below 20 years. “The Maoist leadership has already issued orders to key leaders to observe tactical counter-offensive campaign (TCOC) to confuse the security forces in AOB and AP-Chhattisagarh border areas,” sources said. TCOC is nothing but diverting the focus of the security forces to escalate violence. It was Kishanji who played a big role in PLGA, the Maoist military arm, to acquire a lethal combative prowess, a senior analyst said. “So, it is in fitness of things that the Maoist leadership has decided to pay tributes to Kishanji by holding the PLGA in November last week,” sources added.

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