VISAKHAPATNAM : Tension prevailed in the remote village of Teemulabanda in GK Veedhi mandal of Visakhapatnam agency when some unidentified persons opened fire in the air at the weekly shandy Friday. However, the district police claimed that those who opened fire were members of CRPF battalion in West Godavari district and were carrying out an operation to nab some key militia members.
According to sources, four members of CRPF battalion arrived in a four-wheeler in the guise of businessmen at the weekly shandy in Teemulabanda. They allegedly started firing in the air sending the tribals into a frenzy. The locals were so scared that they ran for their lives assuming that they were under attack.
The incident triggered alarm in the area even as the police launched a combing operation to nab the militia members. Sources said that the CRPF personnel went to Teemulabanda to nab two militia members named Sethu and T Naidu. However, they escaped in the melee. Speaking to Express, Vizag rural superintendent of police Koya Praveen confirmed the firing but claimed that the militia members opened fire first, forcing the CRPF personnel to retaliate to protect the locals.
“The CRPF personnel went there to capture the militia members upon receiving specific information about their plan to kidnap a businessman in the village for ransom to fund their activities. But upon noticing them on the spot, the militia members started firing in a bid to escape and the battalion members who were at a distance of about 200 yards reacted by opening fire into the air to alert the locals,” he added. Later, the tribals alleged that the locals ran for their lives after seeing the four armed personnel who opened fire upon spotting the militia members in the crowd. The locals expressed fear that there could have been a fatal stampede due to the unmindful act of the armed personnel.