Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Andhra doesn't have more than 150-160 Maoists: Home minister

4 May 2009, 2114 hrs IST, PTI

HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh home minister K Jana Reddy has said not more than 150-160 cadres of the CPI (Maoists) could be present in the state.

"We have very effectively tackled the Maoists over the past few years and now they have been reduced to nothing. At best, there could be some 150-160 cadres of the outlaws hiding underground in the state," Reddy told reporters after a high-level review meeting on the post-election law and order situation at the secretariat on Monday.

That not a single incident of Maoist violence was reported during the two-phase polling last month in the state clearly indicated that the outlaws had lost ground, Reddy said and added that states like Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh witnessed Naxal violence during the elections.

To a question, Reddy said the talks initiated by the Congress government in late 2004 proved effective in tackling Naxal menace.

"Though the talks failed, we could very effectively curb Maoist activity in the state. Many of them have given up arms and surrendered before the police while many more are willing to give up," he added.

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