Khammam: Maoists in the border villages from Telangana to Chhattisgarh are currently on a drive targeting those having cell phones in remote areas. They are taking their phones and checking as to who all has contacts with the police. Maoists suspect that some police encounters in the past happened due to information leak by mobile phones. Maoists first started the mobile seizing operation in areas under Charla, Vazed, Dummugudema and Venkatapuram mandals. To start with, the Maoist dalams which visit remote villages regularly started identifying people who were having cell phones. These persons were then called to attend to the Gramasabha. There, the dalam members would check the contact numbers in the cell phones and give warnings to those who had the police’s or police station’s numbers with them. In several cases, such phones are seized from individuals.
Sources said such an anti-mobile mission was carried out by Maoists in the villages of Erraboru, Chennaram, Kurnavalli, Uyyalamadugu and Telimala under Charla mandal. All these villages were located in the border areas of Dantewada and Bijapur districts of Chhattisgarh. V. Kanna Rao, a villager of Kurnavalli, said Maoists seized at least 100 mobile phones from the locals. Some of the locals were given warning.
Such drives by Maoists were carried out in other habitations in Venkatapuram, Dummugudem and Vazed mandals. In fact, some of the police officials who worked in Charla and Venkatapuram mandals had recently called some residents of the border villages to the police stations and tried to befriend them. A few of them were even given cell phones by cops to get information from the villages.
The Maoists had information that the Puvarthi encounter was held due to an information leak via cell phones. Nine extremists had been killed two years ago in the encounter between security personnel and the rebels belonging to south Bastar division committee of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) at Puvarthi. The village is set inside Kanchala forests in Chhattisgarh.
Surprisingly, the six locals, which were taken away from Uyyamadugu village under Charla mandal by Maoists on Tuesday, were released after seizing their cell phones. The Maoists have allegedly checked the call lists in their cell phones. The freed villagers, on their return, hid in the houses of relatives and friends, fearing police questioning and media intrusions.