Telangana: Two Maoists die in police encounter; border areas in state on high alert

Maoist activity has picked up in the forest area in Bhadradri-Kothagudem district

Encounter in Madhya Pradesh; two Maoists, including a woman killed Representational Image | AFP

Intelligence inputs and ground developments in north and east Telangana in the last few weeks point towards a possible strengthening of CPI(Maoist) in the region. After a long lull, Maoist activity has picked up in the forest area in Bhadradri-Kothagudem district, close to the Chhattisgarh border. On Monday, at around 3pm, a special police party engaged in a gunfight with the extremists, leaving two dead. The identities of the deceased Maoist members are yet to be ascertained.

According to the police, they acted after receiving information that a Maoist party was moving in the region to “destroy public property and cause harm to life”. District SP Sunil Dutt said that they had launched combing operations in suspected area in Cherla mandal. The exchange of fire occurred in a forest and lasted 20 minutes. Post that, on searching the area, the police found dead bodies of two male Maoists, one SSB gun, one pistol and two haversacks.

There is a heightened activity of both, police and Maoists in the region. Last week, a Maoist died in an encounter in the same district. He was believed to be a member of an action team and also a gunman of a top state leader of the banned Left extremist organisation. Calling it a “fake encounter”, the Maoists called for a one-day bandh and also triggered a landmine blast on an empty stretch in the district as a mark of protest.

The state police has been on alert after the Maoists constituted area committees in the state in June this year. Working under the state committee, the area committees are believed to be tasked with consolidating in their respective areas while focusing on recruitments, especially in the tribal belt. Police also believe that action teams from Chhattisgarh have infiltrated into the state as part of a larger plan to strengthen the party in the state, which was once a hotbed of Maoist activity.

State DGP Mahender Reddy has been touring the Maoist-affected areas for the past few weeks. His recent visit was to Asifabad district, known for its high tribal population. It is learnt that the state police chief is monitoring the entire exercise. In the past, during one such tour, he said that that Maoists were trying to create trouble in tribal habitations.

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