VISAKHAPATNAM: The seizure of heavy ammunition from a Maoist camp during the joint operation by AP Greyhounds and Odisha’s Special Operations Group (SOG) in the deep forests of Malkangiri district on Monday has raised several speculations over the activities of the red rebels in the Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB) region. According to police sources, around 150 Maoists from Chhattisgarh entered the AOB region some two weeks ago for the meet. As the fresh recruitment of the locals to the Maoist cadre is on a decline, the red rebels are trying to gain strength by inducting the Chhattisgarh cadre along the AOB, sources added.
According to police, the presence of huge ammunition stashed in the Maoist camp traced at Tikarpadu under Jodamba Panchayat in Malkangiri district hints at the red rebels planning something big.
Sources said that the presence of top Maoist leader Akkiraju Haragopal alias Ramakrishna, popularly known as RK, in the camp was not ruled out. But it has been confirmed that Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) in-charge Gajarla Ravi alias Uday was present during the exchange of fire on Monday. “A fully armed cadre was reportedly sighted by the intelligence wing in the deep forests in Balapam region of Chintapalli mandal, considered to be a Maoist stronghold,” the district police sources told TNIE. Meanwhile, the combing operations have been intensified in Visakha Agency and AOB region after the exchange of fire on Monday.
Lack of leadership, poor cadre strength haunt Maoists: Cops
Having received a jot in the Ramgarh encounter in which 30 Maoists were killed in October 2016, the cadre along the AOB reportedly adopted several strategies to trap the police forces and organised several meetings in the region too. In the last four months, sporadic violent activities by the Maoists were reported including burning of a cellphone tower at Darakonda in GK Veedhi mandal and torching of earthmovers near Nurmati panchayat in G Madugula mandal. They also killed Lova Raju, a non-tribal, branding him as a police informer in Chintapalli mandal in October last year. However, during the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) week organised in December first week passed off peacefully, barring a solitary landmine blast with no effect.
Senior police officers from Visakhapatnam district said that the cadre became almost toothless after the death of Gopal alias Azad in May 2016 and Gemmeli Narayan Rao alias Jambri in February last year. Further, the surrender of Gemilli Kishore alias Chittibabu and Sinderi Sobhan in last December came as a jolt for the Galikonda cadre. As many as 169 arrests were made including 16 Maoists, 36 militia members and 117 sympathisers last year in Visakhapatnam district alone, apart from the surrender of 62 persons including nine Maoists and 37 militia members. “The Maoists are now a shattered lot owing to lack of leadership and cadre strength. The fresh recruitment has almost stopped. The Chhattisgarh cadre might have entered the AOB to impart training,” said a senior police officer from Visakhapatnam.
Planning something big?
An armed cadre was reportedly sighted by intelligence wing in the deep forests of Chintapalli mandal, say police sources
Red rebels suspected of trying to gain strength along the AOB by inducting the Chhattisgarh cadre
Presence of top Maoist leader RK in the camp not ruled out
Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) in-charge Gajarla Ravi alias Uday was present during the exchange of fire
Combing ops intensified in Visakha Agency and AOB region after the exchange of fire on Monday.