Thursday, December 04, 2008

Maoist lull since Balimela tragedy has cops on edge

VKL GayatriFirst Published : 03 Dec 2008 08:34:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 03 Dec 2008 01:08:53 PM IST

VISAKHAPATNAM: If once it was the rampaging of the Maoists that had the cops on edge, it is now their silence -- especially the long lull since the offensive, that is proving ominous.

The police have definite inputs pointing to a major action, this time targeting a high-level politician. Accordingly, security for politicos is being tightened.

The task, however, is pretty stiff given that morale in the force is not very high since the Balimela tragedy in which the radicals killed 33 policemen.

The Maoists, sources said, have suspended recruitment of tribal boys and girls and are concentrating on preparing for ‘‘action’’. Five action teams have been constituted for this purpose in the three north coastal districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam.

A group of Maoists is said to be recceing different places in these districts.

The police believe the Maoists are targeting one cabinet rank minister, three MLAs and two inspectors of police, and maintain that recently they had planned to attack a police station but changed their mind for unknown reasons.

Two central committee leaders had visited Visakhapatnam agency area in mid-November to discuss the problems of the cadre and had assured the latter of modern weaponry. A senior police official said that of late gleaning information on Maoist moves had been rendered difficult police as locals and tribals were not ‘‘co-operating’’ with them for fear of the consequence of acting as informers.

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