VISAKHAPATNAM/RAJAMAHENDRAVARAM: A tense atmosphere prevailed in the Agency areas of Visakhapatnam and East Godavari with the police forces intensifying combing operations to track the top Maoist leaders, suspected to have escaped after Wednesday’s alleged encounter in Teegalametta forest area under Mampa police limits in Koyyuru mandal of Visakhapatnam district. Six Maoists were killed in the exchange of fire.
Security was beefed up at state and Central government offices while politicians were asked to leave to safer places till normalcy is restored.Police continued the combing operations as they suspect that top leaders of Maoist east division — Aruna and Jagan — might have escaped. Though people of some villages in Vizag Aency said they heard occasional firing in the forests, there was no confirmation from the police.
As many as 400 policemen are reportedly combing every inch of the forest area. Police sources said while six Maoists died in the alleged encounter, there were no casualties from the police side. Most villagers stayed indoors due to fear of what would happen following the encounter as the police checked every vehicle passing through the mandal, particularly Mampa and Palasamudram. Police pickets were posted to prevent movement of vehicles towards Palakajeedi, Vennelapalem and Palasamudram villages.
The sources said about 30 Maoists were holding a key meeting when the police reached there on specific information which led to the exchange of fire.Among the six killed, three are top leaders of the division. They include Ranadev alias Arjun (DCM), Sande Gangiah alias Ashok (DCM), and Santu Nachika (ACM) of Maoists.
Meanwhile, in a letter purportedly written by secretary of AOB south zonal committee Ganesh, which was released to the media, the Maoist leader accused the YSRC government of following anti-people policies and surrendering before the BJP government. In East Godavari, police intensified combing operations in the areas bordering Odisha, Chattisgarh and Telangana following the alleged encounter in Koyyur. Greyhounds personnel were combing the agency areas of Chintur, Yetapaka, Mothugudem, Donkarai, Y Ramavaram, Maredumilli Addateegala, Gangavaram, Rampachodavaram and Kunavaram.
Rampachodavaram ASP Bindu Madhav said additional forces have been deployed in all sensitive areas including at the State and Central government offices to ensure that the Maoists do not target them. All politicians in the hit-list of the Maoists have been advised to leave the border areas and shift to safer locations for sometime.
Chintur DSP Khadar Basha said two days ago they arrested three Maoist couriers and seized `9.93 lakh from them. A senior police official, on the condition of anonymity, said the Koyyur encounter was a big blow to the Maoists who were planning to revive their movement by recruiting more people.
Six Maoists identified
Police brought the bodies of the six Maoists to Narsipatnam area hospital after almost 35 hours. Kin of three Maoists reached Narsipatnam to claim the bodies. The police identified the sixth Maoist as Anju of Chhattisgarh. Other five were Ranadev alias Arjun (DCM) (Makangiri in Odisha), Sande Gangiah alias Ashok (DCM) (Telangana), Santu Nachika (ACM) (Koraput- Odisha), Lalitha (PM) (GK Veedhi - Visakhapatnam), Paike (PM) (Chhattisgarh)