WARANGAL: The banned Maoists are again trying to get back their foothold in Telangana while police have also become active in thwarting their efforts.
About 15 years ago, cadres of CPI (Maoist) had been quite active in Telangana, especially in agency and forest areas. They terrorised people, particularly contractors and public representatives, and collected “donations” from them.
But following concerted strategies implemented by police after formation of Telangana state, the banned extremist organisation lost its grip and shifted base to neighbouring Chhattisgarh state.
However, several incidents in recent past indicate that they are trying to make their presence felt again. One of them is an encounter last August between police and members of the Maoist group in the forest region of Damera Thogu and Chimalapadu in Gundala mandal on borders of Mulugu and Bhadradri Kothagudem districts. There were no casualties or injuries on both sides.
Recently, Venkatesh, secretary of Bhupalpally-Mahabubabad-Warangal-Peddapalli division committee of Maoists, released a letter demanding that Ramagundam MLA Korakanti Chander Patel return ₹45 crore allegedly collected by him and his henchmen from unemployed youth to get them jobs in Ramagundam Fertiliser Company Limited (RFCL). Venkatesh, alias Kakanala Raji Reddy alias Dharmanna, went on to mention names of MLA's relatives, followers and company contractors who had allegedly benefitted. He warned each of them to reimburse the money collected to unemployed youth or face consequences.
Tuesday saw panic in Ramagundam and Peddapalli areas after speculations that Venkatesh, along with his cadres, visited Basant Nagar and NTPC areas and extorted money from contractors. Others are afraid that Venkatesh, who had narrowly escaped in an encounter two years back ago at Musalammagutta in Mulugu district, would target and harm them in case they cannot part with “donations”.
Amid all these reports, police in north Telangana have become active. Owing to their pressure, a Maoist identified as Peddam Deva of Sukma district, active in Keralapal area, surrendered before Mulugu SP Sangram Singh G. Patil.
Jayashankar Bhupalpally district police also nabbed a Maoist sympathiser identified as Nagire Rajaiah. They seized a country-made pistol and two bullets from his possession.
In the interim, intelligence department has cautioned officials of Godavari catchment area to be cautious as two Maoist groups – Adelgu and Mangula, have infiltrated into Telangana state.
Deputy superintendent of police Sadaiah of Mahabubabad district said after a long break, Maoist groups that had shifted from Telangana to neighbouring states are trying to enter the state again.
Significantly, police officials and CRPF jawans under supervision of Jayashankar Bhupalpally SP J. Surendar Reddy have intensified combing operations with sniffer dogs on borders of Telangana and Chhattisgarh in River Godavari catchment areas of Palimela, Mahadevpur, Adavi Mutharam, Lenkkalagadd, Peddampet, Ambatipalli and Kanukunur villages....