Maoists making comeback in Andhra Pradesh

Maoists have made inroads into northeast Andhra Pradesh bordering Orissa

Times of India, October 24, 2010

HYDERABAD: More than four years after they were thought to have been driven out of Andhra Pradesh, the Maoists have begun to rear their heads once again in the state. Sources say that Maoists are now active in six of the 11 mandals of Visakhapatnam district in northeast corner of Andhra. They are also flexing muscle and mulling over the prospects of activating themselves in the north Telangana districts. Intelligence reports suggest that balladeer Gaddar entered the Telengana movement recently only after being cajoled and coaxed to do so by the Maoists.

As of now, the activities of the Left ultras in north-coastal AP is restricted to felling trees, digging up roads, blasting government property and damaging road transport corporation buses. Presently, they are operating in the interior areas that can be accessed by kutcha roads. They operate out of Orissa and come walking between one to three hours on undulating terrain, indulge in violence and go back, an informed source said. He added: ”They have local support in these basically tribal villages.”

Right now, the activities of the Maoists are manageable from the law and order point of view. But sources say that the police zeal in combing these godforsaken places for Maoists is very low. This has been so since June 2008 when in the Balimela operations, scores of policemen lost their lives at the hands of Maoists. Ever since, the police have been on the backfoot. There is combing in these areas, but it is not that serious. Exchange of fire takes place once in a blue moon. In the last year-and-a-half, only seven times has there been an exchange of fire, a source said. If Maoists get caught, it is only by accident, the sources reveal citing the example of an ultra, Nilesh alias Jaipal.  Continue reading