Police failed to assess Maoist threat despite prior information?

According to police sources, infiltration of Maoists from Chhattisgarh and Odisha into AOB has been going on since Ramgarh encounter.

Published: 28th September 2018 02:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th September 2018 02:55 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

VISAKHAPATNAM: Even as investigation is going on into how Maoists sneaked into Dumbriguda to carry out the deadly attack on Araku MLA Kideri Sarveswara Rao and former MLA Siveri Soma, sources in the Police Department said intelligence agencies had information about the movement of Maoists on Odisha side of the border, very close to Araku Valley, a week before the attack, but they failed to assess the lurking danger.

Investigators associated with the probe into the Maoist attack revealed to Express that they had sniffed the movement of Maoists in good numbers in Odisha region on September 18 and 19, but they never anticipated that the extremists would enter AP, especially Dumbriguda, which is close to tourist spot Araku Valley, and carry out the attack.

As already stated by DGP RP Thakur that the attack was a planned one, sources said the Maoists waited till the day of attack and it took them just one night to enter Dumbriguda from Odisha and execute their plan.

The police were taken by surprise when they learnt that the Maoists have succeeded in bringing in young blood to rejuvenate their outfit after Ramgarh encounter.

After Ramgarh encounter in October 2016, there has been no major presence of Maoists in the agency and Andhra Odisha Border for more than one-and-a-half years. Police felt that apart from Korukonda area committee with about 40 to 50 Maoists, the presence of extremists was not felt in other Agency areas.

In a few instances, Maoists from other border areas, entered AOB for their party meetings, but failed to make any impact due to intensified combing operations. Police sources said Maoists who had been planning to seek revenge for Ramgarh encounter and to regain their hold in AOB region in various ways, finally struck big with a pre-planned strategy.

According to police sources, infiltration of Maoists from Chhattisgarh and Odisha into AOB has been going on since Ramgarh encounter.

After a number of surrenders and arrest of Maoists due to various reasons, the extremist outfit felt rattled and embarked on recruiting a lot of youth into the cadre, especially in action teams. A number of young Maoists took part in the attack at  Dumbriguda on Sunday, sources said.

“Several Maoists have surrendered to police in recent times due to health problems and unable to cope with adverse weather conditions in the dense forest. Moreover, Maoists need some young blood to be fast and energetic during their attacks,” said a senior official of Visakhapatnam Rural Police. “They wanted to take revenge and regain their hold and for which youngsters from Chhattisgarh and Odisha are being recruited,” he added.

Who executed the attack?

Four days have passed since the killing of MLA Sarveswara Rao and former MLA Siveri Soma, but  police are yet to get concrete clues as to how information regarding their visit was leaked and who had played an important role in planning the operation. As per the preliminary investigation, police suspected that the operation was planned and executed by Aruna, head of  Nandipura area committee, and her husband Chalapathi, senior most Maoist leader. But the fact is yet to be ascertained. The Maoists did not leave any letter claiming responsibility for the killing.

Naidu to meet families of slain leaders tomorrow

Visakhapatnam: Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu will visit Araku and Paderu on September 29 and meet the families of TDP MLA Kideri Sarveswara Rao and former MLA Siveri Soma, who were gunned down by Maoists. Naidu was in the US when the Maoist attack took place on Sunday. Police are strengthening security for the Chief Minister’s visit to the Agency. Meanwhile, IT Minister Nara Lokesh’s visit to the area on Friday was cancelled due to various reasons.

DGP visits Chintapalli

Director General of Police RP Thakur made an unscheduled visit to several interior police stations in the Maoist-affected Agency area. Thakur inspected Chintapalli police station on Wednesday morning and conducted the security audit. Chintapalli DSP P Anil informed the DGP about the measures being taken in the Agency police stations, which face Maoist threat. Thakur suggested some more measures to fortify the police stations in the Agency in the wake of Maoist attack

Twists and turns

Even as the police claimed that Sarveswara Rao, who was killed by Maoists, was given notice informing him about the threat from Maoists, close associates and PA of the TDP leader, reportedly disclosed before the inquiry team that the signature in the notice, was not of the MLA. According to sources, SIT led by DCP (Zone I) K Fakeerappa, has been collecting vital clues regarding the attack from tribals of Tottangi Panchayat.

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