Monday, August 22, 2005

Police, Naxals play mind games in AP

NDTV Correspondent

Monday, August 22, 2005 (Hyderabad):

The police and the Naxals are now playing a dangerous cat-and-mouse game in Andhra Pradesh.

Both sides are using every trick in the book to create an element of fear and terror.

The men in uniform are playing mind games with well-known Naxal sympathiser Balladeer Gadar. He has reportedly been told by the police that his associates can be arrested any time.

"Everyday on a daily basis, somebody calls me up and says they are going to arrest me now. Somebody else calls to say they are going to put an end to my life," said Gadar.

"There is a proverb 'call it a mad dog before you kill'. It is like that. Create tension and arrest,'' he added.

The Naxals are giving it back to the police in equal measure. In many Naxal-affected villages of Guntur district, posters have been put up announcing cash rewards for information that helps the capture of a police officer.

Valuable intelligence

The police claim they have valuable intelligence collected during the ceasefire period when many of the big guns of the Naxal group were less guarded about their movements.

"We have specific information against specific people so we would like to go after those specific people. We would not like to go after all and sundry,'' said Swaranjit Sen, DGP, Andhra Pradesh.

Meanwhile, cases have been brought out of the woodwork against the two Naxal sympathisers - Varavara Rao and Kalyan Rao - who were arrested last week.

A court in Anantapur has extended their judicial custody till September 5 in a case where they were eyewitnesses to the beating up of a constable at a Naxal public meeting in September last year.