Maoists Renew Poll Boycott Call in Agency
After recently making a hit-list of people to be targeted during the elections, the Maoists on Monday renewed their call for boycott of polls, including those for MPTCs and ZPTCs in the agency pockets, throwing the aspirants into a state of uncertainty and panic. The Reds have even released letters and palmphlets to convey their message.
The call, which comes weeks after the killing of Karla Sinderi, the sarpanch of Balapam panchayat of Chintapalle mandal, had instilled fear among the prospective contestants in the Maoist-dominated areas, especially in Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram districts. The Balapam sarpanch was allegedly hacked to death by Maoists for contesting the panchayat polls ignoring their warning. Several MPTC and ZPTC aspirants in the agency areas of both the districts are now said to be not coming forward to file their nominations.
In the latest letter addressed to the tribals of the North Andhra region, the Maoists called upon them not to contest the polls nor support anyone doing so. The rebels have also reportedly been using their informer network in the tribal areas to convey their threats.
Admitting that the Maoists of the Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) are still active in Visakhapatnam district and along the Andhra Odisha Border (AOB), the police have also acknowledged the poll boycott call issued by the reds. The police have already deployed special forces -- counter-action teams, central paramilitary forces and AP Special Police -- in the agency pockets in anticipation of Maoist strikes during the polls. About 130 people on the Maoist hit-list have been identified and alerted to be more cautious during the elections.
“This is no news for the cops,” was the reaction of a senior police official when Express brought the latest Maoist move to his notice. “We have expected the call and threatening posters to come at any time now in the areas. However, the police have a strong hold in the entire agency,” he added.