Kothagudem/Warangal/KBA: The Telangana Police did a commendable job in thwarting the efforts of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoists) from gaining a foothold in the State in 2020. Telangana, once considered a hotbed of naxal activity, has been relatively free of Left extremism in the past decade, and though there were apprehensions in some quarters about the Maoists resurfacing after Telangana achieved Statehood in 2014, the State police have successfully stopped them in their tracks.
At least 144 Maoists and their sympathisers and couriers were arrested during the year in the border districts of Bhadradri-Kothagudem, Bhupalpalli, Mulugu, Warangal and Kumram Bheem Asifabad. Responding to the State government’s appeal to the Maoists to return to the social mainstream with the promise of help in rehabilitation, 41 members of the party surrendered before the police in these districts, while 10 of them were killed in the exchange of fire with the police.
Kothagudem topped the list in arrests with 106 Maoists taken into custody followed by Warangal and Mulugu where 28 extremists were arrested. A total of 39 Maoists surrendered before the police in Kothagudem while in Warangal, top Maoist leader Gandrakoti Mallesham (35) and his wife Chintha Srilatha (34) surrendered before the Warangal police commissioner in March, 2020.
Bhadradri-Kothagudem Superintendent of Police Sunil Dutt told Telangana Today that several senior ranked Maoists like Maoist militia commander Hemla Joga of Peddabodikal village in Sukma district, Manugur Area Committee local guerrilla squad (LGS) commander Madavi Mangalu alias Jilalu of Nendra Village in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh state were among those arrested by the police in Kothagudem.
Besides the Maoists, the police have also been tracking common public aiding the Maoists. A sarpanch, Karam Kanna Rao of Tippapuram in Cherla mandal was arrested for working as the courier Maoists.
Telangana government has got the best rehabilitation policy for Maoists which led to the surrender of 39 Maoists during the year including the major surrender of 33 militia members and village committee members of the party, he said.
A reward of Rs 13 lakh offered by the State government was distributed to the surrendered Maoists to help them rebuild their lives. Besides, the police have also been extending all possible support to the surrendered Maoists to lead a normal life.
As aspired by DGP M Mahender Reddy, all measures required to make Bhadradri Kothagudem a Maoist-free district were being taken. Intensive combing operations were being conducted on Telangana-Chhattisgarh borders.
“We are always watchful. Modern technology combined with well-trained special party police are being deployed to track Maoists movements and to contain them”, Dutt said.
As many as six Maoists of different ranks were killed in exchange of fire with the police in the district this year. On September 3, the guard of top Maoist leader Haribhushan, Dudi Devalu alias Shakar (25) of Chhattisgarh was killed in Gundala mandal.
In Kumram Bheem Asifabad district, however, Mailarepu Adellu alias Bhaskar, state committee member and Varghese Koya or Mangulu, area committee member and three others managed to escape from the multiple police parties in July. The police were carrying out combing operations in Gundala area in Tiryani mandal, following specific inputs.
On June 29, extremists again had a close shave with policemen twice and disappeared from a spot where police parties had arrested a sympathizer for supplying food to the five at Nimmaguda village in Asifabad mandal.
The Maoists killed a fertiliser dealer Maduri Bheemeshwara Rao at Alubaka village of Venkatapuram (Nugur) mandal in Mulugu district branding him as a police informer, and two Maoists were killed in encounter in Mangapet forest in Mulugu district in October 2020