HYDERABAD:After the encounter in Malkangiri district of Odisha last week, in which 24 Maoists were killed, Balimela—a town which was a linkage for the outlawed extremists to roam freely between Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha—is no more a safe haven for Maoists as police are conducting operations in the area.
They have gunned down six more Maoists since last week and among those killed are some of their important Maoist leaders, while many others are still on the run. Believed to have lost the existing top cadre in the party in the Balimela battle, it may not be possible for the Maoists to make an easy comeback. Now their biggest task is to find a home for themselves in the forest,police said.
Having gained momentum and strong hold in the north-east region of undivided Andhra Pradesh in late 90’s and early 2000’s, several members have exploited the sympathy they had in public. The Maoists lost the tribal support after the reports of extortion, killing of innocent villagers in the name of coverts and also forced recruitments.
Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh DGP N Sambasiva Rao said, “They (Moaists) are free to express their policies and ideology without carrying weapons, but police will be ruthless towards them if they indulge in illegal activities.”
Since 1968, about 2,924 civilians, 553 security forces personnel, and around 2,971 extremists were killed in the undivided Andhra Pradesh and now Telangana and AP.
The CPI(Maoist), which was trying to make a set back after several years by recruiting new cadre, has almost lost its strength.
Though there were very few incidents of gun battle in Telugu states in the last two
decades, the killing of Maoist cadre in the last week is considered to be the biggest jolt for the outfit.
The Andhra Pradesh Odisha Border (AOB) was the only area in the South, where the CPI(Maoist) had a strong hold.
But now police have taken control over the area by killing almost all the top cadre.
Soon after the encounter, Andhra Pradesh CPI(Maoist) secretary Shyam said, “Several CPI(Maoist) members have left the party after they surrendered before the police. I strongly believe that these members are providing vital information on the schedules and possible movements.”
The Maoist insurgency is an ongoing conflict between the extremists, also known as Naxalites, and the police forces. The conflict in its present form began after the 2004 formation of the CPI(Maoist), a rebel group composed of the People’s War Group and the Maoist Communist Centre.
Maoist Leaders Eliminated
2007: Mohan Reddy, Central Technical Committee member, Chettiraja Papaiah, member of North Telangana Special Zonal Committee, Kiran, deputy commander of Special Guerrilla Squad and Talari Krishna, member of Nallamala Forest Division Committee
2008: Chokkari Gangaram, member of Andhra Pradesh-Orissa Border Special Zone Committee, Gajerla Saraiah, Central Committee member and in-charge of Central Military Commission and Valluri Venkata Rao, secretary of Andhra Pradesh Special Committee
2009: Patel Sudhakar Reddy (in picture) Central Committee member and Tushar Kant Bhattacharya, International Forum member
2010: Sakhamuri Appa Rao, CPI-Maoist central committee leader, Cherukuri Rajkumar, member
of the Central Committee and politburo and Hem Pandey, zonal committee member
2011: Konapuri Ilaiah, TRS polit bureau member)
2013: Jana Babu Rao, Bharathi and Vimalakka (Central Committee Members)
2016: Kudumula Venkata Ramana (Commander) in picture