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Intelligence branch says Maoists have 2 lakhs men, 10,000 guns

Intelligence branch says Maoists have 2 lakhs men, 10,000 guns

Hyderabad: A report of the Special Intelligence Branch, the anti-Maoist wing of the Telangana State police says that Maoists have a mass base of two cadre groups in 35 districts and possess nearly 10,000 firearms of which 4,000 are company-made and the rest countrymade.

The police alleged that the Maoists still extort Rs 120 crore to Rs 150 crore every year through extortions/levies from various sources like contractors industrialists and businessmen as per a report of DC.

CRPF former chief Kode Durga Prasad said, “Maoists survive by threat and intimidation, and they extract massive amounts from people.”

According to him half of the 24-member Maoist central committee had been killed in encounters, had surrendered or had been arrested. The strength of the Maoists’ politburo has weakened too. “The cadres were dwindling, and they are finding difficult with recruitments,” he added.

CRPF Additional Director General Sudeep Lakthakia said, “Security forces getting ambushed is an operational hazard in tribal areas. The Maoists and the militia supporting them are large in number. They had a 1:5 superiority during the recent attack.”

Mr Lakhtakia said locals worked the fear of Maoists when asked whether tribals supporting the Maoists in Chhattisgarh. “Maoists threaten them. For survival, Maoists are resorting to attacks desperately. They are now focusing on South Chhattisgarh bordering Andhra Pradesh and Telangana state.”

Prof. Nandini Sundar from the Delhi School of Economics’ department of sociology, who has done extensive work on tribals in the area, said: “How many deaths will it take to realise that too many people have died?”

She said that permanent solution should be formulated for guarding the fundamental rights of the people, their lands and forests.

“The security establishment is trying to claim that they have reduced the Maoist footprint and this is the last gasp. Unless the underlying issues are addressed, only sending in more CRPF personnel will not work,” she stated.