MAOISTS ABDUCT 6 TRS LEADERS, DEMAND END TO ANTI-NAXAL OP
The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) Government faced its first serious challenge from the outlawed CPI-Maoist after the ultras abducted six party leaders in Khammam district bordering Chhattisgarh. In a letter signed by CPI-Maoist spokesperson Jagan, the ultras demanded immediate end to the encounters across Telangana failing which they threatened to kill all the six hostages. Also, they demanded immediate halt to the combing operation by the Greyhound force in Khammam and Adilabad districts.
According to police, the six leaders — Mane Ramakrishna, in charge of Bhadrachalam Assembly constituency, Patel Venkateshwarulu, former Cherala Mandal president, S Suresh, former Mandal secretary, Satyanarayana, former president of Venakatapuram mandal, Rama Krishna, former Sarpanch of Pusuguppa and D Janardhan, former president of Wajedu Mandal — were called by the Maoists for talks at Pusuguppa village under Cherla mandal on Wednesday evening but were not allowed to return. The demand letter that also carried the news of their abduction was sent through courier late on Thursday evening, said officials.
The handwritten letter in Telugu threatened that the Maoists will now start targeting the TRS leaders all over the State if their demand for an end to the encounter was not met. The letter demanded action against police officials involved in the “fake encounter” in Warangal in September last in which two people, including a woman, were killed. Jagan also called upon the people to boycott the Warangal Lok Sabha by-election scheduled for Saturday. The demand was made in the context of a series of incidents of armed clashes between the Maoists and police in northern Telagana district. While two suspected Maoists were killed by police in Warangal, two Maoists were injured or died in an encounter in Khanapur in Adilabad district on Thursday.
Maoists and the human rights organisation have termed the Warangal incident as a fake encounter and held Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao directly responsible for it. Police officials said efforts were being made to establish contacts with the Maoists through couriers as the ultras were not using any electronic communication tools fearing that police could trace their location and launch an operation to rescue the hostages. Police and security forces were on a high-alert in Khammam district and vehicles were being searched. And as security was stepped up in the locality, authorities received a second warning letter from Maoists claiming that if any movement of police and security forces was observed in the vicinity they would kill the captives.
This has created confusion in the administration at the district level, as the officials have no idea how to tackle the crisis and how to approach the Maoists. “We are waiting for the clear instructions from seniors,” a local police official said. The hostages are being kept in the deep forest area surrounded by the armed Maoists, said sources. The family members and relatives of the hostages have gathered in Pusuguppa village and tension was prevailing. TRS member of Assembly from Khammam district J Venkata Rao said the State police was on the job.
“We are in touch with police who are chalking out a strategy for the release of our district-level leaders”, he said. The abduction incident has sparked fears of the return of violent activities of Maoists to the region after a gap of nearly ten years. Also, the alarming incident has come in the backdrop of a series of intelligence warning that the Maoists are trying to infiltrate from Chattisgarh and Maharashtra and regroup themselves through fresh recruitment of youth. Meanwhile, in another development Maoists have put up wall posters in Venkatapuram mandal announcing that the anniversary of People’s Liberation Guerilla Army will be celebrated from December 2 to 8. Such occasions in the past witness a surge in the violent activities and attacks by the Maoists, said sources.
Maoists release TRS leaders in Telangana with warning
Hyderabad: Maoists in Telangana on Saturday released six leaders of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) with a warning that party leaders will be killed if the government failed to mend its ways. The leaders were abducted from a remote village Pusuguppa four days ago. They reached Charla on Saturday morning after the Maoists released them from their captivity in the forests. With the Communist Party of India (Maoist) releasing the leaders unharmed, their families heaved a sigh of relief.
The TRS in-charge for Bhadrachalam constituency M. Ramakrishna, who was among those kidnapped, told reporters the Maoists sent a message through them, saying if the government did not change its attitude, they would eliminate party leaders from village to state level. The extremists were angry that the TRS that came to power by promising that it will follow Maoist agenda, was adopting repressive policies and killing them in “fake encounters”. The Maoists also demanded that the government immediately stop anti-Maoist operations. The leaders were abducted late on Wednesday.
However, the incident came to light on Thursday after the TRS leaders did not return home from the remote village where they had gone to meet some people. The abduction in the region bordering the Maoist stronghold in Chhattisgarh had caused panic among the ruling party’s cadre. The Maoists had released a letter, making three demands including an immediate halt to “fake encounters” and combing operations. The outfit had threatened to target TRS leaders if their demands were not met.
Naxal arrested after exchange of fire in Gadchiroli
A 35-year-old Naxal was arrested after an exchange of fire with security forces in Nelgunda forests in the adjoining Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra, police said today. Birja Wadde, a member of Bhamragarh dalam (squad), was nabbed yesterday after a gun-battle with a group of Maoists, who opened indiscriminate fire on a patrol party of CRPF in Nelgunda forests, they said.
The security personnel returned the fire, forcing the insurgents to retreat into the forests. Some of them took shelter in a village from where Wadde was later captured, police said. Offences under relevant section of IPC have been registered against the ultra for his alleged involvement in Naxal-related incidents.
Wanted Naxalite Gajarala Ashok likely to surrender
Dreaded Maoist Gajarala Ashok, secretary of Dandakaranya special zonal committee of the CPI (Maoist), is reported to have informed Telangana police of his intention to surrender after he claimed to have quit the movement. Police did not confirm whether Ashok is in their custody or was yet to surrender. “He claims to have left the party and intends to come out. But we are yet to see him,’’ a top official said. Accused in many crimes, he carries a reward on his head. Hailing from Chityala of Warangal district, Ashok had been active in Dandakaranya region for over 20 years. He was apparently upset with the leadership after he was demoted over sexual harassment complaints, and was facing some health issues.
Leave coffee plantations to Girijans, say Maoists
The CPI (Maoist) has extended its support to Girijans on the issue of enjoying the benefits of coffee plantations being raised by the AP Forest Development Corporation (APFDC) in the Agency area, even as it continues to exploit their strong opposition to bauxite mining. The APFDC is raising the coffee plantations in more than 4,000 hectares in the Visakha and East Godavari Agency areas by engaging the Girijans. ‘Araku Coffee’, a branded product, gained international recognition. Coffee cultivated in the Agency area is considered to be of good quality because of the use of organic manure and pesticides.
The Maoists are demanding that the Girijans be paid higher wages and given ownership over the plantations. There were instances of the Maoists distributing coffee plantations to the Girijans of villages close to the plantations and destroying coffee godowns and pulp units. A few APFDC employees had also been killed by the Maoists after branding them police informers or accusing them of harassing the Girijans. A few days ago, 947 acres of plantations in RV Nagar east and west areas were reportedly distributed to the Girijans.
On Thursday, the Maoists of the Galikonda area committee pasted posters and threw pamphlets on the road at Teemulabanda in GK Veedhi mandal alleging that the APFDC and the police were harassing and exploiting the Girijans, and demanded that the APFDC leave the Agency by Friday leaving the coffee plantations to local Girijans. Filing police cases against Girijans would result in severe penalty, the APFDC was warned.
Police on Alert Amid Maoists’ Boycott Call
WARANGAL: Tight security arrangements have been made for smooth conduct of by-election amidst Maoists’ call to boycott the Saturday’s voting. Police have identified as many as 819 polling stations as hypersensitive, 393 as sensitive and 566 normal in the total 1778 set up for voting in all seven Assembly constituencies. While Bhupalpally Assembly constituency and some parts of Parkal Assembly constituency are considered as Maoist influenced areas, police have taken additional steps for bandobast. Apart from 20 companies of paramilitary force, state police from the district and neighbouring districts have been deployed and a DSP level rank officer has been posted at each police station to monitor the situation.
Heavy security for Jharkhand’s panchayat polls
Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place in the wake of a Maoist threat to disrupt the first of the four phases of panchayat polls beginning on Sunday, an official said. It will be three-tier panchayat polls. According to police sources, around 55,000 security personnel including troopers of paramilitary forces, Jharkhand Armed Police, the Indian Reserve Battalion and others have been deployed. Maoist guerrillas have put up posters and banners threatening candidates and voters.