Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Recovery of rocket-like tubes worries Andhra police

Recovery of rocket-like tubes worries Andhra police

Hyderabad, April 25 : The recovery of rocket-like metal tubes with percussion caps from an arms dump of Maoist rebels in Andhra Pradesh is worrying the state police.

These tubes, believed to be filled with explosives and capable of being launched from rocket launchers, were recovered from an arms dump unearthed in Anantapur district bordering Karnataka.

State police chief Swaranjit Sen told a news conference Monday the recovery of the pipes was a new challenge for his force and steps would be taken to neutralise these new weapons.

"At the end of the tubes there is a percussion cap. When the percussion cap hits something solid, it detonates the explosives within and that is how the explosion takes place. This is something very crude but this seems to be a new method that the Maoists are trying," Sen said.

During combing operations against the Maoists in the Nallamalla forests and in Anantapur over the past 90 days, several arms dumps of the Communist Party of India-Maoist were unearthed.

The weapons recovered from the dumps in the districts of Prakasam, Kunrool and Anantapur included three self-loading rifles, four 303 rifles and four double barrel guns, seven SBBL and 1 SBML gun, two air guns, one revolver, ammunition for weapons of various makes including AK-47 and Springfield rifles, 25 kg of gunpowder, 105 kg of gelatine, six live and 45 empty claymore mines, electrical fuses, detonators, grenades, grenade filling machines and other tools used in preparing claymore mines.

Stating that the police would continue its operations, Sen said: "Our intention will be to make a dent into this destructive industry they have formed and hopefully in the near future we will have more success."

He said the recovery of arms and explosives showed that the Maoists had misused a respite provided by peace talks with the government.

"The CPI-Maoist stepped up recruitment of new cadres and procurement of arms and explosives. The CPI-Maoist chose Nallamalla forests as a priority area to intensify their guerrilla war and dumped explosives in their hideouts there," he said.

Soon after coming to power in May last year, the Congress party had initiated peace talks with the Maoists. The first round of talks between the government and Maoists was held in October. However, the peace talks broke down in January and the eight-month ceasefire came to an abrupt end.

--Indo-Asian News Service

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