Peace returns to Andhra-Odisha border areas as Maoists are flushed out

Visakhapatnam: Activity of Maoists has been kept under check in Andhra-Odisha border during past few years as their cadres were flushed out of North Telangana.

Though the ultras were using Odisha as a peace zone for a long time, with Andhra Pradesh Police’s elite force Greyhounds, they increased their activity in South Odisha bordering Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram and Chhattisgarh bordering East Godavari and Khammam districts. Greyhounds in coordination with Special Operations Group (SOG), a paramilitary outfit operating under Odisha Police forced the Maoists also called Naxalites to cut-off area in Malkangiri area and Sukma of Chhattisgarh, all falling in Dandakaranya Forest. The Maoists have not been able to regroup themselves after the Ramguda encounter in which 30 of their members including top leaders were killed in October, 2016 on Andhra-Odisha border.

The year 2020 was termed by police officials as a successful year in containing the activities of the Maoists.  Incidentally, a huge rally was taken out by the tribals in Dumbriguda mandal, near Araku, about 110 km from here on Wednesday in protest against the killing of two civilians in their area by Maoists. Waving placards and banners they raised slogans against the ultras and organised a human chain at Dumbriguda, once considered a hotbed of Maoists where then Araku MLA Sarveswara Rao was gunned down by the extremists during the erstwhile Telugu Desam regime.

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One of the biggest setbacks for the Maoists is the stepped-up surveillance by the police on their communication network. As a result, it is said they are unable to use mobile phones and VHF sets. Welfare schemes organised by the police with the help of surrendered Maoists have also to some extent stopped sheltering of ‘annalu’ as they are known in tribal areas by the villagers.

Visakhapatnam SP B. Krishna Rao said concerted efforts by them on the border in coordination with the police force of Odisha was successful in containing Maoists activity.

The leadership facing a vacuum after the killing of top Maoist leaders in exchange of fire/surrender. Fresh recruitment of cadres and training them has also become a Herculean task. Police forces, however, do not want to take any risk following reports on some activity by the ultras in Vamsadhara, Ghumusara, Nabbadi divisions of Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB) Special Zone Committee. 

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Odisha’s Rayagada police superintendent Sarvaba Vivek said the police had been able to keep them under check in coordination with the security forces. At the same the police did not compromise on surveillance.

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