Hyderabad, Dec 31: Maoists continue to make attempts to regroup in Telangana but the police have kept the pressure on them as evident from 90 percent decline in the extremist violence during 2017.
Setting aside all doubts in some quarters that formation of separate Telangana state would help Communist Party of India (Maoist) to revive their activities in their former stronghold, the police during last three and half years did not allow them to regain the foothold.
Maoists from Chhattisgarh continue to make attempts to cross over to Telangana but are being pushed back by the police.
This month police gunned down eight naxalites of CPI (ML) Chandra Pulla Reddy (Bata), a recently floated outfit, in Bhadradri-Kottagudem district. This is the first major incident in terms of number of deaths since formation of Telangana state in 2014.
The encounter occurred in in Tekulapally forest near Bodu village. The naxals, mostly old cadres, had regrouped and formed a ‘dalam’ and were operating in the area for the past two months.
Those gunned down include dalam’s underground leader Etti Kumar alias Rakhi, 35. They were involved in a slew of offences including extortion cases under various police station limits in Yellandu sub-division.
The police officers said that since the extremists did not belong to CPI (Maoist), the incident doesn’t indicate regrouping by Maoists.
Director General of Police M. Mahender Reddy said the police firmly dealt with the attempts by CPI (Maoists) to revive the activities.
“They (Maoists) continue to make attempts to regroup and we continue to disrupt them,” said the police chief.
He believes the recent surrender of Jinugu Narasimha Reddy alias Jampanna is a big blow to the CPI (Maoist). The CPI (Maoist) Central Committee member along with his wife Rajitha surrendered before DGP following ideological differences with the party leadership.
“This is reflective of the disillusionment with in the cadre with the ideologies of CPI (Maoist) and we may see some more important surrenders in coming months,” said Mahender Reddy.
Jampanna was carrying Rs.25 lakh reward on his head while his wife had Rs.5 lakh reward.
Jampanna (55), who was active in the extremist movement for over three decades, was involved in over 100 offences in different parts of the country.
Hailing from Warangal district of Telangana, Jampanna was also serving as the member of the CPI (Maoist) central regional bureau and central military commission. He was also incharge of the Odisha state committee of the banned outfit.
The DGP described Jampanna’s surrender as a huge blow to the Maoist outfit. Stating that the central committee has 18 more members, Mahender Reddy appealed to them to surrender and join the mainstream.
During 2017, five extremists were killed. They included three zonal committee members.
During the year, police also arrested 54 extremists while 26 extremists surrendered before police. Another 18 extremists were arrested in join inter-state operations.
Police say that Telangana State Committee is operating with 92 underground cadres out of which only 18 are from Telangana state and the remaining from Chhattisgarh.
Have the Maoist activities completely eliminated from Telangana? The DGP doesn’t agree. He says the Maoist activities are under control.
Police sources say the force would have to maintain the vigil to counter any attempt by Maoists to regroup. With CPI (Maoist) activities in Andhra Pradesh continued to be under check, the force will have to remain on alert on areas bordering Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra.